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Festival of fire sets Kushimoto ablaze

On the 25th January each year the town of Kushimoto in Japan sees the night sky illuminated by flame in the annual Fire Festival.

The ceremonial burning of a patch of grass in front of the revered Shiono Misaki watchtower isn’t just for spectators, either.

Brave – or perhaps fool-hardy – locals turn it into a participation event as they walk through the waves of flame as they make their way across the bank.

The ceremony begins by the firing of lit arrows into the grasses to get proceedings started, before flaming torches are used to move things up a notch.

Aside from keeping pyromaniacs happy, the festival also features a cavalcade of food and drink, traditional dancing and general celebrations as locals and visitors alike rejoice in this much-loved event.

The event takes place on the southern-most tip of Honshu, an area renowned for its fishing activities and agrarian way of life.

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