The "Gujō Dance Festival" was first said to be thought up during the Edo period where a castle lord was planning a way to increase the motivation of his farm workers. And of course, even up until today, anyone can easily join in on the festivities as it is not a 'dance and watch event', but a 'dance and participate' type of festival.
During mid-July until early September, through 33 nights, the dance is known to be an invigorating and long-running bon festival dance. The rule is that the dance can only be done in one location for one night. Incidentally, the town also holds various other festivals during summer, and if one were to go around the castle or the nearby street, there might be a chance for you to find the Gujō Dance being held around the area close to the shrines.
Commonly, the dance begins at 8 PM until 10～11 PM, while the climatic midnight dances are usually held during the 13th～16th of August for four days and ending at 4～5 AM where until then everyone would still be seen dancing along a band accompaniment.
There are in actuality 10 types of dance within the Gujō Dance itself. When it is said that the God of War, Hachiman, would come to the town, it is said that rain does not fall during this time and dispel this misfortune, a song called "Kawasaki" is widely known to be sung. Next, there is also the up-tempo, "Harukoma". After this is a dance that often causes some mistakes, "Sanbyaku". Then there is the calming, "Yacchiku". In contrast to that, one dance has fast movements, called "Gengen-barabara". In addition to all these, are the two unique dances, "Sawagi" and "Neko no Ko", as well as a dance that leaves a nice aftertaste, "Matsusaka". Not only are the movements in the dances considered to be a sport, but looking at it at a logical stance, the sequence of the dance moves themselves have been scientifically proven to be beneficial. And this, would be a reason why one you join in and dance the night away at the Gujō Dance Festival.