Celebrate summer and the birth of Sugawara Michizane
with spirited fun and traditional rites
Every year on July 24 and 25, Dazaifu Tenmangu holds its summer festival to celebrate the
birth of Sugawara Michizane—a legendary figure who is now enshrined at Dazaifu Tenmangu as
Tenjin, the deity of learning, culture, and the arts.
The colorful and energetic celebration features rituals, fun events, and activities. Events take place throughout the grounds and immediate vicinity of the shrine, from around noon until evening. Highlights include a colorful yukata dance contest and parades in which local children carry a portable shrine through the streets around the shrine.
The summer festival is a celebration but also an important annual rite—priests and
festivalgoers pray to Tenjin to protect them from misfortune, and take part in purification
rituals. Experience the Chinowa Kuguri Ceremony, a summertime purification ritual that
involves passing through and circling an enormous straw-and-reed hoop set up in front of the
romon gate, the entrance to the inner sanctuary of Dazaifu Tenmangu. All are welcome to
perform the rite.
The festival comes to a sparkling climax on the evening of July 25, with the Thousand Candles Ceremony, a serene candlelight spectacle that takes place around the Shinji-ike pond. Festivalgoers light and place candles around the pond and along the three bridges that cross the water. The reflection of the soft glow of a thousand candles in the surface of the water is a poignant way to end the festival which celebrates the life and achievements of Sugawara Michizane. The ceremony starts at 8 p.m. and continues for a half-hour.
July 24: from 2 p.m.
July 25: from 11 a.m.