Lion dance at festival day. (Ame-Ichi festival/飴市)

In January 9th and 10th, a festival called "Ame-ichi" held at Matsumoto every year.
As these days are at end of New Year's holiday, people seems happy and relaxed every year.

To wish this year's health and luck, I visited Yohashira shrine.
Lucky I was, the show was just starting when I reached there.

I could see Lion dance there.

This lion dance is called Shishi-mai (獅子舞), and it is believed that these lions breaks evil spirits.
There were two lions this day.

A man who plays Japanese flute had explained about the dance before show.
There were two lions at this day, and he told us that they are a couple.
One lion is male and the other is female.

If the nose is black, the lion is male.

If the nose is red, the lion is female.

With young man's Japanese flute, the dance and music had started.

Two men manages a lion. One in the head, and one in the body.
At first, the lions were dancing gently and slowly.

Slowly, stands up, and starts dancing.
The music of Japanese flutes and drums also become louder and faster.

It is said that this dance came from India and China.
Design might be quite different, but I agree that they came from Eurasian continent.
I can't tell exactly, but I feel something from them, mixture of the cultures.

Last summer, I've seen the lion dance done by the puppets.
Seeing real lion dance, I knew that their skills are both great.

Looking the picture above again, and I thought that puppets were so small and cute.

Please click here to see the past blog post about puppet.

At last, the lions took off the cloth.

If you got a chance to see the lion dance, let them bit your heads.
It is a charm that evils never comes to you.

Thank you for reading!
Good night!

獅子舞, 飴市, 四柱神社, お祭り, 正月