First Float Procession, One Highlight of Kyoto's Gion Festival, Takes PlaceTwo-Year Hiatus due to COVID-19 Pandemic
The giant wheels of the float creaked into motion to the signal shout of "Enyaraya" and sounds of festival music playing, as the Naginata Hoko float, leading the lineup of 23 floats, set off from Shijo-dori Karasuma Higashi-iru in Shimogyo Ward, at 9:00 a.m.
At Shijo-dori Fuyacho, the sacred child on the Naginata Hoko float performed the ritual of cutting the sacred rope. After a solemn gesture of moving his sword from side to side, 11-year-old Zenta Okamoto powerfully swung it down and successfully slashed the sacred rope that marked the boundary of the holy area. Spectators on the sidewalk applauded wildly.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)