thumbnail The Aomori Nebuta Festival parade, Japan
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The Aomori Nebuta Festival parade, Japan © Akkharat Jarusilawong/Shutterstock
From now until Aug 7, the northern Japanese city of Aomori is celebrating Aomori Nebuta, a festival (‘matsuri’) that features bright, colorful floats like the one seen in our photo. The history of how the festival began depends on who you ask and what you read. But the way to celebrate is to join or watch the parade that is the centerpiece of the observance. The floats depict mythic warriors and creatures, and they move through Aomori accompanied by musicians, often playing flutes and pounding on loud taiko drums. The goal? To ‘awaken sleepy souls.’