• Doya-doya-saa Onibitaki (Demon Expulsion Bonfire)

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Osumi Peninsula

Doya-doya-saa Onibitaki (Demon Expulsion Bonfire)

7 Jan  
  • Doya-doya-saa Onibitaki (Demon Expulsion Bonfire)1
  • Doya-doya-saa Onibitaki (Demon Expulsion Bonfire)1
An onibitaki (bonfire to expel demons) festival is held every year on January 7 in the Shimohama area of Uchinoura.
The etymology of “doya-doya” is unknown, but it resembles seasonal words used to represent the new year in haiku, such as dondo-yaki and dondo-shogatsu. A bonfire is made using New Year’s decorations; the resulting heat is said to ward off evil and misfortune in the new year.
In Doya-doya-saa, the top of a tall bamboo pole is decorated with a folding fan bearing the hinomaru (Japanese rising sun pattern), a five-colored cloth, and origami. Twelve ropes representing the signs of the Chinese zodiac are held by children, with each rope held by children all born in the same month.
When the vigorous pillar of flame causes the green bamboo to snap, the children all shout, “Ohhh!” together in delight. As per tradition, when the bamboo pole burns up and falls over, the decorations and smaller bamboo are made into amulets, while the thicker bamboo is cut into round slices and made into piggy banks.
Now, unlike in the past, children celebrating Nana-kusa (the Festival of Seven Herbs) also participate in the purification ritual and hold the ends of the ropes.

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Event Days 7 Jan      
Address 鹿児島県肝属郡肝付町内之浦   Directions