Wakakusa Yamayaki (山焼き) Festival in Nara, Japan

See more photos of Wakakusa Yamayaki on the 奈良公園 (Nara Park), 若草山 山頂, and 若草山 location pages

Over the weekend, the annual Wakakusa Yamayaki (山焼き), or ‘mountain roast,’ took place in Nara, Japan. A group of Shinto priests starts the festival by carrying sacred fire to a shrine at the foot of Mount Wakakusa and igniting dead grass. A fire brigade stands by at all times, and onlookers from the city nearby are treated to a massive fireworks display as the hill catches fire. The tradition is over 400 years old, and it takes just under an hour for the fire to spread across the mountain.