Ritual expelling evil spirits takes place at Japanese fire festival

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People have gathered for the annual 'Oniyo Fire Festival' in the Japanese city of Kurume Sunday, where the ritual of expelling 'evil spirits' was performed. The custom took place in front of the Tamateregu Shrine, which is thought to be the exact place these celebrations have been marked for 1,600 years. People wearing loincloths lit six giant torches amid falling ash perceived to be blessings bringing good luck. Participants also ran around with smaller torches and drummed with sticks as part of a performance for driving away 'demons.'