Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival: Burn your fears down

By Erica Grainger

 “I did mostly good things, except light things on fire” (Mark Hoppus, Blink-182) 

When: Saturday night, 9th November
Where: Sukagawa

I have a confession to make. I have always, always been afraid of fire. When I say afraid, I don’t mean the small fear that’s inside most of us. I mean really terrified, irrationally so, to the point where I can’t even light a match or a gas lighter! Yes, it sounds a little funny, but I have
‘pyrophobia’ (fear of fire). As I told my parents when I was young, “Don’t worry, I’ll never become a smoker because I can’t light the cigarette.”

So, you’re probably wondering why on earth did I go to a fire festival? Well, firstly, it was time to battle this ridiculous fear, once and for all. Secondly, I was told by virtually everyone that I simply must go. So, I found myself that Saturday night on a train to Sukagawa with Katherine. She reassured me that there was nothing to fear and I discovered she was right. I had an amazing time and stayed on the right side of the barriers. It was great to see all my good chums at the festival, and we were kept warm by the towers of blazing fire and glory that burned brightly, only a few meters away. It was truly a spectacular sight to see and I would recommend it highly for anyone who’s never been. Although I must warn you, if you have pyrophobia, like me, don’t expect to be cured of it. I am still terrified of fire and I haven’t conquered this yet, but I’m working on it….one flame at a time!

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