In Japan, fire is known for its power to purify, and is associated with the coming and going of divine spirits. As such, fire is often used in Japanese festivals, and large numbers of flaming torches are used in rituals to welcome or send off gods. Fire is also used in various community events and Shugendo festivals. Among the more popular events, New Year's decorations are burned during the mid-January Sagicho Festival, and flames are used to send off ancestral spirits during the Bon Festival. Others include the fire festival at Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine, in which large burning torches are used in a ceremony to welcome and purify portable shrines; the Kurama Fire Festival at Yuki-jinja Shrine, nestled within Kurama-dera Temple in Kyoto City; and theGozan no Okuribi in Kyoto, which brings to an end the Bon Festival. The infinite number of torches, candles, and lanterns that magnificently light up the night skies provide a valuable opportunity to discover a key element of Japanese culture.