Odate Candy Festival. Eat candy on this day, and keep the evil spirits away!
The custom of eating candy is common throughout Japan. According to the Kojiki, the offering of candy tied to a branch of dogwood as a substitute to an ear of rice to the gods is what started the custom of eating candies to purify evil spirits. This is of course also practiced by Odate at the Odate Candy Festival. This festival supposedly dates back to 1588 and was a folk festival at that time. It has been passed down since then and held at Omachi Hachiko-dori (previously Omachi Chuo-dori) since 1972. Over the course of two days, several events are held, including the Shirahige Okami procession, which is inspired by the legend of a god descending the tallest mountain in Odate, Mt. Tashiro, to buy candies; and free candy distribution. In addition, there are a large number of stalls at the festival selling a wide variety of candy, such as candy in the shape of a branch, attracting a lot of tourists from both within and outside the prefecture.