Kyoto's Aoi Festival returns in 2023

One of Kyoto's three major festivals, the Aoi Festival, was back in full splendor this year after being scaled down for the pandemic. A highlight of the ancient event, originally performed to appease deities and ensure a good harvest, is a procession of hundreds of people in bright aristocratic costumes of the Heian era. Each year, one woman is chosen to play the leading role, an unmarried princess known as a Saiodai.

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