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The Hakata Dontaku (博多どんたく港まつり, Hakata Dontaku Minato Matsuri) is one of the most popular festivals during “Golden Week”, a string of public holidays at the end of April and early May. It has roots in a New Year performance that began in 1179, but over the years evolved into an extravagant and colorful parade. Today the over two million visitors that come out on the streets of Fukuoka each year can see costumed parade members, dance groups, and decorated float vehicles called hana jidosha.
The official name is Hakata Dontaku Port Festival, and a number of other events also take place around the port area and elsewhere throughout Fukuoka City. The festival is held annually on 3-4 May.