Updated: March 29, 2019
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Join the Hataka Dontaku Festival in Fukuoka

Hataka Dontaku is one of the most traditional festivals in Japan, being celebrated for over 800 years. Every year, during Golden Week, it gathers nearly 2 million people in Fukuoka.

May 03, 2019(Fri) - May 04, 2019(Sat)
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Hataka Dontaku Festival

Hataka Dontaku dates back to 1179, during the Heian Era. Formerly called Matsubayashi, it was an opportunity to celebrate the local lords and thank them for their kindness by wishing them eternal prosperity.

It is said that the word Dontaku (どんたく) comes from the word Zondag, a Dutch word that means both "Sunday" and "holiday".
The preparations start two days before the festival starts. The big avenue called “Meiji Street” closes for cars. A big parade along the street, sponsored by companies and organizations, will hold dances and special performances.
There are usually around 500 groups that perform: some wear costumes, others dance, play the shamisen, taiko drums, and it's traditional to clack shamoji, wooden spoons used for scooping rice, together.
For two days, May 3rd and 4th, Fukuoka bursts with life and joy during this massive celebration. If you don't have plans for Golden Week yet, make sure to include this festival!

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