Gion Festival climaxes with a float parade

In a scorching heat of over 35 degrees Celsius, people in Kyoto carried out a procession called Yamahoko Junko. The parade of decorative floats is the highlight of the annual Gion Festival, a celebration that began in the Heian period in the hope of ending the plague. Onlookers applauded when a boy, selected as the messenger of the divine, severed the sacred straw ropes that signify the boundary between the human and divine worlds.

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