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Lion Dance Festival in Echizen

Raging lion dances through a small village of Fukui

The Lion Dance Festival of Shishi Gaeshi is one of the traditional autumn festivals held in Echizen City. This festival dates back to the 16th century when local farmers were troubled by wild boars coming down to their village to eat crops. The legend says that they asked a brave samurai to kill wild boars and he used a wooden lion's head to ward them off. Since then,  the Lion Dance has been performed in the villages. In recent years a lion (Shishi) and its bearers will visit newly-built houses in a village, dance wildly inside to expel evil spirits. However, if you are a owner of a new house, you wouldn't like these youngsters go wild inside it, would you? So some of the owners set a makeshift stage in their gardens to let them go wild on it instead. Still, they would come inside and go wild. Nothing can ward them off!

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