The Aoi Matsuri is one of the three main annual festivals ,held in Kyoto on May 15. It is a festival of Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. It originated in the 6th century and became Kyoto's most famous festival in the Heian Era. The festival has been called Aoi festival because the hollyhock leaves were used as decoration for the festival. It was once believed that these leaves protected people from natural disasters.