Traditional lantern parade held for first time after pandemic

A traditional autumn parade has wowed the crowds at a shrine in Kashima City east of Tokyo for the first time in four years.

The event at Kashima Shrine in Ibaraki Prefecture is held to pray for a rich harvest and good health.

Fourteen groups of people carried 8-meter-tall bamboo poles adorned with more than 300 paper lanterns. They are designed to resemble the stem and grains of a rice plant.

The poles were then placed in a bonfire.

One participant in his 40s said he had been looking forward to the event.

A teenage girl said it was nice to see so many red lanterns.