Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Omagari fireworks festival 2013

I have not written any post for more than a month now. Hubby and I had been to India during the New Year holidays and after returning back to Akita, I had not been keeping well due to the extreme cold weather. Now I am alright and back to blogging. There are a few places hubby and I visited in 2013 about which I have yet to write about. So I will start with our yearly ritual of viewing Omagari fireworks festival.
 
 
On 24th August, hubby and I went to see Omagari fireworks festival in Daisen City of Akita prefecture. It is one of the major fireworks festivals in Japan that has been held since 1910 on the dry bed of Omonogawa River. It is an annual national fireworks competition where fireworks artists from all over Japan compete to show off their latest fireworks products and techniques. This year was the 87th edition of Omagari fireworks festival. The festival attracted about 760000 spectators from entire Japan to Daisen City, and about 18000 fireworks were displayed. For those who are interested, the details about the shapes and sizes of Japanese fireworks can be found at this website.
 
 
Hubby and I go every year to see Omagari fireworks festival, and viewing the fireworks has become an annual ritual for us. On 24th August, we started from our home at about 9.30 am and took two picnic chairs and a picnic sheet with us. It took us about 1.5 hours of car ride to reach Daisen City. We had to park our car at a parking area that was very far from the fireworks display venue. So we had to walk for about an hour to reach the venue. On reaching the festival site, we searched for an open area for seating and were lucky to get a nice place to sit within just ten minutes of our search. We spread the picnic sheet and reserved the area for us to sit and view the fireworks later in the evening. After getting a seating area, we realized that it was just 12.30 pm and still many hours remained for the fireworks display to begin. So we left the venue and went to Daisen City Hall, which was open to the public on that particular weekend day. We could spend the next few of hours in the comfort of an air-conditioned room there.
 
 
The display of daytime fireworks called Hiru Hanabi started at 5.30 pm but we skipped seeing it as we were not much interested. At about 6.15 pm, we left Daisen City Hall and walked back to the fireworks display venue. We had some difficulty in finding the seating area that we had reserved earlier in the day as the crowd at the festival site had increased tremendously. Eventually we found our seating area and sat down. Many people around us were busy eating and drinking with friends and relatives.
View of the crowded fireworks festival site as seen from our seating area
 
Another view of the festival site
 
I am relaxing at our seating area
 
Hubby sitting at our seating area
 
 
At 6.50 pm the nighttime fireworks display started with an ‘opening event’. We took a few photos and I compiled a video of this wonderful fireworks display.
Various fireworks patterns of the ‘opening event’ of the fireworks display
 
Several more patterns of the ‘opening event’ of the fireworks display
 
A compiled video of the ‘opening event’ of the fireworks display
 
 
The nighttime national fireworks competition started at 7.05 pm. Omagari annual national fireworks competition is divided into three categories, which are daytime fireworks, 30 centimeters round-shell fireworks, and creative fireworks (Sozo Hanabi). The daytime fireworks was already over, which we skipped seeing. For the 30 centimeters round-shell fireworks and creative fireworks categories, this year 27 fireworks artists and manufacturers from all over Japan competed and showed off their techniques. There were spectacular displays of fireworks that used latest fireworks technology and intricate techniques. We enjoyed viewing various kinds of colorful shapes and patterns formed in the night sky. Since every year we take lots of photos of creative fireworks display, this year we just enjoyed the show and took pictures and compiled a video of only one of the program of the creative fireworks display.
Various fireworks patterns of one of the program of the creative fireworks display 

A compiled video of one of the program of the creative fireworks display
 
 
In between the creative fireworks competition, there were four grand fireworks displays called ‘sponsored special event’. These fireworks displays were sponsored by many companies and local organizations but were not included in the competition. These fireworks displays were choreographed to exciting popular music. The fireworks rose into the sky one after another and then exploded into spectacular colorful patterns. We took many photos of the fireworks patterns and compiled videos of three of the four ‘sponsored special events’ of the fireworks display.
Various fireworks patterns of the first ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
Several more patterns of the first ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
A compiled video of the first ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
Various fireworks patterns of the second ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
Several more patterns of the second ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
Yet more patterns of the second ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
 A compiled video of the second ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
Various fireworks patterns of the third ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
Several more patterns of the third ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
Yet more patterns of the third ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
A compiled video of the third ‘sponsored special event’ of the fireworks display
 
 
This year there was an additional fireworks display called ‘special program’ where a few companies and organizations collaborated to give a wonderful display of colors and lights. The theme of the ‘special program’ was ‘Wa. Bi ~Wa Kara Irodori~’. The display was exquisite and amazing. We took many photos of the fireworks patterns and I compiled a video of this fireworks display.
Various fireworks patterns of the ‘special program’ of the fireworks display
 
A compiled video of the ‘special program’ of the fireworks display
 
 
In addition, there was a fireworks display called the ‘main event’ where different fireworks artists and manufacturers collaborated to give an exquisite display of colors, lights, patterns, and sound. The theme of this year’s main event was ‘Mission A’. About 2600 fireworks were launched in five and a half minutes. The fireworks were deployed synchronously from several locations spread out across a large area of 550 meters. The passion of the fireworks craftsmen was on grand display and it made a great impression on us. We took many photos of the fireworks patterns and I compiled a video of this extraordinary fireworks display.
Various fireworks patterns of the ‘main event’ of the fireworks display
 
Several more patterns of the ‘main event’ of the fireworks display
 
Yet more patterns of the ‘main event’ of the fireworks display
 
Still more patterns of the ‘main event’ of the fireworks display
 
A compiled video of the ‘main event’ of the fireworks display
 
 
At about 9.30 pm, there was a ‘final event’ where a fantastic display of mostly round-shell fireworks was carried out. We left the fireworks venue before the display of the ‘final event’ began but saw it while walking back towards the car parking area. It took us about one hour to walk back to the car parking where we had parked our car. It was about 0.30 am of the next day when we reached back our home. We loved the exquisite and spectacular display of fireworks at Omagari fireworks festival.
 

2 comments:

Avik chatterjee said...

Nice Pictures.

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks Avik Chatterjee for your comment.