ceremony on a winding stream, is performed by ladies and gentlemen
in a ceremonial court robe under the plum blossoms in full-bloom.
After the Tobiume-no-mai dance by shrine maidens,
Kyokusui-no-En Festival begins.
Vermilion-lacquered cups full of sake are set afloat down
Before the cups reach each of the participants sitting along
the stream, they have to make up a Japanese poem called waka, and write it down on a strip of fancy paper.
When the cups reach the participants, they drink the sake
and hand the paper strip and cup over to an attendant.
The ceremony has its origin in a historical fact that
Ono-no-Yoshifuru, an elder brother of a noted-calligrapher
Ono-no-Tofu, held a ceremony to appease the soul of
Michizane Sugawara and to beguile tedious hours
in a rural life.