The roots of this festival is from back in the middle of Heian period.

Around 940, by the Imperial Rescript, they moved the shrine from the Imperial Palace to Kurama to pray for peace since one fortune followed another and another such as a battle, large earthquake, upheaval and natural disasters.
The parade to carry their torches and Shingu (tools uses in Shinto religion services) for the relocation was about 1 km long.
This festival started by Kurama people since the Imperial's decision touched their heart deeply so that they decided to let future generations to know this diving favor and a ritual which has been told even now.
Every year, December 22nd, they started fire at 6 p.m. and babies, kids, boys with torches join the parade one after another.
At 8 p.m., a hundred and several dozens of torches gather at stone made stairs in front of Kurama-temple.
When the rope is cut along with the cue, they started burn all the collected torches.
In front of the mikoshi (portable shrine), two young men will show the service called "Choppen" to spread the legs upside down hanging in Mikoshi.
Somehow it used to believed guys need to do this to become an adult.
This fun and powerful festival keeps going till midnight passed 12:00.