WHAT: Wakakusa Yamayaki
WHERE: Nara, Japan
WHEN: 27 January 2018
The name of the festival literally translates as ‘The Mountain Roast’ and is where the dead grass on the hillside of Mount Wakakusayama is set ablaze on the 4th Saturday in January each year – but only after an epic fireworks display.
There are two theories of the evolution of the festival. The first claims that the burning of the mountainside began during boundary conflicts between Nara’s great temples (Tōdai-ji and Kōfuku-ji), while another claims the fires were used to drive away wild boars. Once set ablaze the mountain can burn for up to an hour and because of the mountains elevation it can be seen from anywhere in the city.