Mushiokuri (an annual Japanese festival) (虫送り)

Mushiokuri is an annual Japanese festival. It is held in order to destroy insects harmful to crops and to pray for a good harvest for the year.

It takes places at night with lit torches from spring to summer (mainly early summer). In some places, people make a straw man representing an evil spirit, tie harmful insects to it and, ringing bells and banging drums, go in procession to the village border where it is thrown the river. Some regions hold it in connection with Tanabata (Star Festival) events.

It used to be seen throughout the nation until pesticide became widely used and today, most areas have stopped it because of the risk of fire.

[Original Japanese]