White Snake Princess Festival (Hakujya Hime Matsuri)
This festival is held in appreciation for the blessings of nature based on an Ainu legend.
This festival is based on the Ainu legend that when the Ainu people were suffering a great famine, a white snake led them to Lake Shikaribetsu where there were many Dolly Varden trout (a kind of char) by divine powers, and they could escape starvation. This legend expresses the deep gratitude of the Ainu people for nature’s blessings. At night, a prayer to the gods (kamui nomi) is held and a fantastic dance by two white snakes (parent and child) and a princess is performed as the main event. Subsequently, Ainu music and folk dances are also performed.Other events include performances by the Self-Defense Force brass band, junior high and high school students, and the Hakuja (white snake) Princess dance by children. (The events are subject to change.)