Neputa originates from a mixture of ancient customs based on an old Japanese legend about two stars that meet in the sky once a year. As time has passed, the festival has become more and more beautiful and entertaining, and now includes traditional taiko drumming and huge paper lanterns on wheels, called ote. On the evenings the ote are pulled through the streets of Hanawa, followed by drums, flutes and children with small lanterns. On the last night of the festival, they are lined up on a bridge, set on fire and floated down the river. Impressive.