Breathtaking fire festival lights up Nagano’s night sky in Japan

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Thousands of locals and tourists gathered in Nagano on Sunday, to celebrate the Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival, also called the “Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri.”

Considered one of the three biggest fire festivals in Japan, it takes place every year on January 15 and is staged by men aged between 25 and 42. In Japan, these are considered “unlucky ages” for men, who need to be purified. It is thought that through the traditional ceremony of a massive bonfire held in the festival, the men are able to drive away evil spirits.