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World's biggest lantern festival at Miyoshi, Japan

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Lanterns do not get any bigger than those featured at the Miyoshi Big Lantern Festival--and now this is a fact, reported The Asahi Shimbun (Japan).

One lantern at the Miyoshi Inari-kaku shrine's festival on Aug. 19-20 has been certified as the world’s largest hanging lantern by the Guinness World Records. The lantern, 10.81 meters high and 6.5 meters in diameter, was confirmed by an official Guinness adjudicator who verified the measurement Aug. 19.

Big lanterns have been displayed during the festival since the pre-war era. One new lantern was introduced in 1988 and two more were added in 1993. The three are about the same size and weigh about 1.2 tons each.

The lanterns are usually kept in a warehouse and can only be viewed by the public during the annual two-day festival.

It takes about seven hours for the executive committee, whose members include local residents, to assemble the lanterns on the first day of the festival using a crane.

“We’re happy that now we can say ‘the world’s largest,’” said Akira Nonoyama, 68, who is self-employed and president of the festival's executive committee. “With increased recognition, I assume that we will see more visitors next year.”

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