Aoi Matsuri

Parade in Kyoto

The Hollyhock Festival dates back to the 6th century and commemorates the successful prayers of the people for the gods to stop calamitous weather. These days the procession involves imperial messengers carried in ox carts and a retinue of 600 people dressed in traditional costume. On 15 May the procession leaves from the Kyoto Gosho and heads for Shimogamo-jinja.