Traditional rocket festival in Chichibu

Traditional rocket festival in Chichibu

People in Chichibu, a city north of Tokyo, launched hand-made rockets on Sunday to express their gratitude for the season's harvest.

The annual festival, held in a mountainous region of the city, dates back several centuries. The rockets, described as dragons, are made from hollowed pine tree logs.

This year, each of 30 rockets was attached to the tip of a 16-meter-long bamboo stick. The projectiles went up into the sky one after another, trailing white smoke, and reached a height of 300 meters. Then the rockets fell down slowly to the ground with parachutes.

Many viewers applauded each launch. A man in his 60s said he enjoyed the tremendous impact of the loud sound of each liftoff.