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Omizutori

Omizutori

Omizutori is a traditional Buddhist festival in Nara, which dates back 1200 years ago. The festival consists of rituals and ceremonies that span the first two weeks of March welcoming spring to arrive. From the 1st of March to the 12th, giant torches are lit at Nigatsudo Hall at Todaiji Temple. Many believe watching these flames brings good luck. Lighting torches is very dangerous considering most temples in Japan are made of wood, and Todaiji Temple being burnt down twice in history already proves this theory. During the peak of the festival, eleven specially selected priests called the Renhyoshu begin to draw water from the temple well at midnight. It is said the water is a gift from God and that it is dry all year round. In Nara, usually after the ceremony ends, cherry blossoms start blooming, meaning the arrival of spring.