Get Dirty at These 2 Festivals in Japan!

  • Japan is famous for its many festivals, with some being more colorful than others. Think of the penis festival, the festival where sumo wrestlers try to make babies cry and the festival with thousands of lit lanterns floating on the river.

    But have you ever thought of joining a very messy festival in Japan? Some of the messiest festivals will definitely speak to your inner child as they give you an excuse to completely cover yourself in mud, or paint your face white using a sticky white paste. The festivals where you can just that are called the Kashima Gatalympics and Oshiroi Matsuri, respectively. These are two separate events occurring in different places. Let’s find out more about these events!

    Kashima Gatalympics

    Every year in Kashima City in Saga Prefecture, a unique event is held where participants cover themselves in mud while competing in various games. This festival is held at a place near the coast of the Ariake Sea. The area is rich in mudflats, which is one reason why the event was created. The main point of this festival is simple: it is for the sheer fun of playing in the mud and getting dirty! The mudflats in the area used to be neglected, but since the start of the event in 1985 they have been monitored and the area has improved ever since. From then, they became an important symbol of Kashima’s growth as a city. It has even made the place a little famous in the whole country, where nobody knew of Kashima before, now most people do!

    Some of the silly games include a mud sumo tournament, a surfboard race, gameshow type of games and so on. Come on over and join the fun someday!

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    Oshiroi Matsuri

    The Oshiroi Matsuri is a 400-year-old festival that is held in Fukuoka for the sake of receiving good blessings every year. This goal is reached by smearing white gooey paint on the participants’ faces. The white paste is known as ‘oshiroi’. It is made of rice and water and is painted on the face so it can be foretold whether the person will have a bountiful or lean harvest this year. How well the paint stays on the person’s face will make the difference. The longer it stays on, the better! Participants will only be allowed to wash off the paint once they get home. Another thing they do with this paint is mixing it with their livestock food, this way they believe their animals will stay healthy.

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    Whether you want your face covered in white or your body covered in mud, you will definitely enjoy the uniqueness of these two messy festivals!

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