The Wakamatsuri festival is held each year in May, on a holiday near to the anniversary of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu’s death (May 17th in the new calendar).
It is considered a “Great Festival Procession” of the Kishu-Toshogu Shrine, a shrine built in 1621 by Tokugawa Yorinobu, the 10th child of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Many believe that the festival was named after Waka Mountain, where the Kishu-Toshogu Shrine is located.
The festival began to be celebrated in 1622, shortly after the start of the Edo Period and the Tokugawa shogunate.
Because it began so soon after the Warring States Period, much of the objects and costumes we see in the parade reflect the styles of this era, an aspect which makes it a very unique and special parade even in Japan.
It was formerly considered one of the “Three Great Festivals” of Japan and the most important in the Kishu region (modern-day Wakayama and Mie Prefectures).
The main feature of the festival is its parade, a procession three-quarters of a kilometer in length which features close to 1000 people in period costume performing, demonstrating a traditional art, or simply having fun.
Traditionally an opportunity for skilled artisans or performers to display their wares and abilities and be noticed by viewers of elite social classes, this spectacle takes place in the beautiful and historical seaside district of Wakaura, in the southern part of the city.
Note: Due to the rare and valuable nature of the artifacts and costumes, the festival parade is not held outside on rainy days. On those days, a shortened version of parade is held indoors.
from インバウンドニュース – 訪日外国人インバウンドニュース速報まとめ http://ift.tt/2nXZ8Rc