As humans give Japan’s famous fireflies festival a miss this year, the creatures at Tatsuno town get a chance to socialise in peace without any interference. By Tanvi Jain
Japan’s Dance of Fireflies, an event that used to attract thousands of visitors every year before the COVID-19 outbreak, this time, gave the creatures some space to dance and mate in isolation, due to cancellation amid lockdown.
Spectators from different parts of the world flock Japan’s Tatsuno town every year especially to attend this event, which lasts for 10 days at the beginning of summer and marks the final chapter of the lives of fireflies.
Katsunori Funaki from the state tourism department told the media, that the fireflies glow in order to communicate with the opposite sex, and then within the 10-day period, they find a partner and lay eggs for next year.
If the weather conditions are favourable, which means no rain or wind, then the numbers could even go up to 30,000. Mayor Yasuo Takei told the media that as per historical records, a massive number of fireflies were seen along Tenryu river in the late nineteenth and the twentieth century.
These fireflies which are considered to be evidence of a healthy environment had once died due to industrial growth, factories, etc. But the town worked really hard to improve the condition and brought them back.
Tatsuno town even has a park, which has been specially designed keeping in mind the conditions favourable for fireflies to thrive. It is well equipped with ditches to bring fresh water from the river and produce an aquatic home rich in oxygen. It also has a snail called Kawanina, which the baby fireflies eat for their growth, while adults spend nine months growing in freshwater.
As per the event organiser, this year the creatures were not only able to find a partner and mate freely in the absence of humans, but their festive dance made the place glow like never before.