The Festival Yamayaki, or “Mountain Burning Festival” is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of January on Mount Wakakusa in Nara, Japan. This festival has been held for over 300 years and it is supposedly originated from two rival temples, Tōdai-ji and Kōfuku-ji, which began lighting fires on the mountain to assert their dominance.
Nowadays, the festival is organized by the city of Nara and serves as a way to promote tourism and to preserve the cultural heritage of the area. All around the place you can see and hear traditional Japanese music, dance performances, as well as food and souvenir stands.
The festival begins with a parade of men dressed in traditional clothing and carrying torches through the streets of Nara till the base of Mount Wakakusa where they start to light the grass. The latter quickly burns, creating an impressive sight as the entire mountain turns into flames.
The burning of the mountain symbolizes the purification and renewal of the land and serves as a reminder of the power of nature. The festival also features
Every year, this unique and exciting event attracts both locals and visitors from all over the country and abroad.