Wakakusa Yamayaki (山焼き) Festival in Nara, Japan
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.