Chichibu Night Festival (秩父夜祭, Chichibu Yomatsuri) is a Japanese Night Festival which is celebrated at the Chichibu Shrine in Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture in Japan.
It is held annually on the 2nd and 3rd December, with the main action taking place on the 3rd.
This festival has an extended history of at least 300 years and it offers homage to the town’s guardian deities known as Kami.
The festival is considered one of Japan’s top three festivals to feature floats, the others being Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and the Takayama Matsuri.
The other main attraction of this festival is its gigantic fireworks display, which lasts for almost two and a half hours.
Durng this festival, the streets are full of stands selling festival foods and amazake (sweet rice wine) to combat the cold December night.
The scene at the festival site is joyous with drummers going mad and flute music playing all the way.
The main events of the Chichibu Festival take place on December 3. In the afternoon and early evening, the six floats are displayed in their respective neighborhoods and at Chichibu Shrine, before they are being pulled through the streets of Chichibu towards the city hall from around 19:00.
The climax takes place on the plaza in front of the city hall, when one float after the other is pulled up the slope onto the plaza and they all line up. From 19:30 to 22:00 a long, spread out fireworks display is held, which can be seen from many places around town.