The Firefly Festival

The Firefly festival is one of the lesser known festivals in Tokyo, Japan. This festival takes place every year for a time period of 10 days and is celebrated in the summer season.

The festival is divided into two parts. First is the narrow lane of a Market that leads to main stage which is a big black tent which is illuminated by hundreds of flying lights. The second is the small garden where the Firefly show takes place. The garden area is turned into alleys which are decorated by yellow lights. Around every corner, a cage full of glowing insects is kept. Other attractions of the festival include stalls with traditional food, flowers and manga. Plants are also displayed and a special type of orchid-sagiso is the main attraction.

The fireflies glow to communicate with each other. The male and female find a partner in the 10 day period and lay eggs for next year.

In good weather conditions, about 30,000 fireflies are seen in the period of 10 days near the Tenryu river.

Effect of pollution

Due to the establishment of silk industry and other industries, the rate of pollution shooted up in the area and the species almost died. However, the local people of the town worked and protected them and now the festival has become a tourist attraction.

Requirements

For the fireflies to grow a snail called ‘ Kawanina’ is required. The baby insects eat the snail and grow while the fireflies spend about 9 months of the cycle growing in fresh water.

The town has created parks for the insects that provide water from river and waterfall. Hence, an oxygen-rich aquatic home is created for their growth and survival.

Lifecycle

Fireflies grow for the whole year and fly for only 10 days. In these 10 days they find a partner for mating and laying eggs. They leave behind the next generation before they die.

The festival is held at the night time as the insects can be seen glowing

Event cancelled

Due to Covid-19 lockdown, this event is cancelled this year and people will have to wait for next year for this event. However, the insects can be seen blinking on and off in the night sky and the atmosphere is serene.