Last weekend was my villages annual Autumn Matsuri. The rice has been harvested, time to kick back and party. Though our village, like many others, has shifted away from using the traditional lunar calendar to set the date, it has also, like many others, shifted the date of the matsuri to fall on a saturday, so that many people have tomorrow off.
We arrived about 10:30, and things were in full swing because traditionally matsuris were all night affairs, and most villages in my area still continue with this tradition. There were fires to keep everyone outside the shrine warm, though it was still warm weather..... by 5 or 6 in the morning it will be cooler.
There was plenty of food and drank available. Made by local people, not the itinerant vendors who are a feature of city festivals, and the food was for sale, not free. I prefer the smaller villages up in the mountains that still provide free food and drink.
There were plenty of people milling around outside the shrine, but most were inside watching the kagura.....