Aoi Matsuri ( 葵祭り - Hollyhock festival) is one of the three biggest festival of Kyoto city, which occurs on 15th May. The festival schedules various rituals and a long procession which starts from the Imperial Palace, goes through Shimogamo Shrine and then concludes at Kamigamo Shrine, which tooks about 5 hours by walking. The parade includes about 500 people dressed in Heian era’s clothes who attend the Saiou-dai, a girl chosen to represent Emperor and who perform rituals at the shrine.
When I went to Aoi matsuri this year, near to me there were a little girl and her granmother. As the parade walks by, the grandmother explained the history and the role of each attendant, and when the Saiou-dai appeared on the palanquin, she said “When I grow up, I want to become that girl.” I wish good luck to her.