The autumn festival is the most exciting fun for us Karatsu boys. Some freaks make fuss about the festival all the year round. The festival is the time when people who live far away from home town come back once a year. Just like at the new year season, they enjoy reunion with their friends and relatives. It is a time when the quiet Karatsu suddenly changes into a noisy place.
Speaking about my festival, because my Dad is a real festival fanatic, repairing the float, teaching music band, doing everything to keep the float in good shape, I was privileged to get on the #6 Float "The Phoenix" only when I was 7 months old. When I started walking, Dad's students, or Dad's friends' children pulled my hand and let me join in "Pulling the Float". My younger sister Toki pulled too until she was 4th grader. She gave up because girls are not allowed to join. (Children are allowed.) Toki misses pulling very much.
When the festival gets near at hand, and we hear the band practicing the float's marching, I get excited in anticipation and hardly settle down. I throw away my textbooks and run out to hear the band. This may be the happiest moment of the festival. On the 2nd of November, the Festival is at last here, and we make a wild fuss in the evening parade.
Karatsu Kunchi Festival is known for its gorgeous feast spending three months' income, and for the frank hospitality without social status consciousness, and many friends and relatives are welcomed to each house of festival participants. I follow Dad, with other students, to some houses, and find many guests enjoying the feast. Somebody calls out, "Here you are! We've been waiting for you, boys" Those are the guests who like to hear our festival band every year. Each house prepare a big feast of special food
While we are yelling in the float pulling, the days 2nd, 3rd and 4th of November pass so rapidly. and the festival is over so quickly. In the night of November 4, we reluctantly go home, looking at the traces of the floats'
Thanks to the Karatsu Kunchi Festival, people get to know people, boys make friends, and become interested in various things. After each Festival, I make up my mind that next year I will practice drum and flute.....
When autumn wind begins to blow, it is the sign of approaching festival. For me, a Karatsu boy, Kunchi Festival is the, really, truly, happiest moment.
October 13, 2004
Thank you very much, Matsuri. I wish you to know that the adults sometimes wish their sons to stop growing and stay as a boy forever. But we know that you will grow quicly, and will leave your parents all too soon, just like the festival leaves you too soon.
To grow up is to know the sad feeling after the party is over.
Well, Kunchi will come next year, so cheer up!
Thank you too, dear readers. I hope you will come back to this page next month.