The festival is an event held by the residents of Wano Country's capital to mourn the dead. Sky Ships (空船 Sorabune?) are a part of it where the grander the celebration, the better their feelings can reach the departed. Tall bonfires would burn so they could reach heaven.
After Oden's death, the Fire Festival became a commemoration of the Beasts Pirates saving the nation from the "evil" Kozuki Family. During the event, the Shogun of Wano, Kurozumi Orochi, and his procession travel to Onigashima, Kaido's residence, to show the country's gratitude.
However, this is a facade as the real purpose is for the Shogun to have a banquet with his allies at the expense of the residents. It is also revealed that all the people in Wano including the Flower Capital get the moment to relax, have fun, and pray as they actually despised Orochi and Kaido and wish for Kozuki and the rebels to stop them.
20 years ago, as part of the Beasts Pirates and Kurozumi Orochi's plot to take over Wano Country from the Kozuki Family, Orochi had the head of the family, Oden, executed while the Beasts Pirates burned down the family's home, the Oden Castle, seemingly killing the rest of the family and their allies. Following that, the shogun and the pirates took control of the land and claimed to have freed the country from Oden's dangerous "Open Country Idea".
Believing that the Beasts Pirates began an era of peace, the residents of Wano started celebrating their feat and established the festival as a way to pay their respects to the crew. However, majority of the people including the Flower Capital don’t believe Orochi's lies, and they use the Festival as a way to enjoy the moment as they’re glad whenever Orochi left the Capital to Onigashima.
Four Emperors Saga
Wano Country Arc
About two weeks before the upcoming festival, Monkey D. Luffy and his group arrived at Wano for the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance's plan to take down Kaido. Shortly after his arrival, he met with Kin'emon, who explained the alliance's plan of attacking the Beasts Pirates on the night of the festival.
Four days later, Orochi had a private prelude party for his close allies. For her part in the alliance's plan, Nico Robin infiltrated the party under the guise of one of the dancing geisha in order to get close to the shogun.
As the day of the festival drew near, the alliance manged to increase their man-power and unbeknownst to them, the Beasts Pirates were joined by Scratchmen Apoo accompanied by the Numbers, and made a pirate alliance with the Big Mom Pirates, preparing to join the festival as well to celebrate their union.
On the day before the festival, Kozuki Momonosuke, Shinobu, and the Nine Red Scabbards that were present on Wano headed from Kuri toward the meeting port of departure. Meanwhile, Orochi received information about the alliance's plan.
On the day of the festival, the country celebrated and Orochi headed toward Onigashima. Meanwhile, Momonosuke's party discovered that the meeting spot with their allies was deserted and the port and their ships were in ruins. Panicking, Kin'emon tried to contact his men but could not reach anyone, including the Straw Hat Pirates.
Kin'emon and his fellow Scabbards attempted to sail to Onigashima on their own while Momonosuke and Shinobu stayed behind at the port. Kanjuro then revealed that he was the one who was leaking information to Orochi. Kin'emon then tried to behead him in anger only to realize that the Kanjuro with them was a drawing and the real Kanjuro stayed behind and captured Momonosuke. The Scabbards were then confronted by three Beasts Pirates ships, but the samurai were saved from the arrival of the Straw Hats, Heart Pirates, and Kid Pirates.
Later on, Kyoshiro arrived with his men and revealed himself to be Denjiro. He also revealed that the rebels gathered at another port as they arrived on a massive fleet to commence the raid on Onigashima. Kanjuro fled to Onigashima with Momonosuke and after two of the Beasts Pirates ships were destroyed, the third one was attacking the rebel ships with long-ranged cannons until Jinbe destroyed it as well.
The Scabbards decided to split. Kin'emon and Denjiro would lead the rebel forces inside Onigashima while the rest would go to Onigashima's back entrance with Law in the Polar Tang. After the Straw Hats defeated the guards at the torii gates, the alliance finally arrived at Onigashima.
As the alliance made their infiltration, Kanjuro delivered Momonosuke to Orochi and Kaido. Meanwhile, Luffy, Zoro, Kid, and Killer revealed their presence and began fighting the Beasts Pirates inside Kaido's castle. Luffy eventually ran into Kaido's daughter, Yamato, who requested Luffy's assistance in fighting her father. Law and the Scabbards with him reached Onigashima's back entrance and they were joined by Marco, Nekomamushi, and Izou. However, they were soon confronted by Kanjuro.
While Momonosuke was put on display and awaiting execution, Kaido announced his New Onigashima Project. Kaido then explained his plans concerning Wano Country and beheaded Orochi, having decided to dispose of him.
- Traditionally, a real world fire festival is a common Japanese custom of igniting a large bonfire during celebratory events.
- Given that the current year's Fire Festival takes place two weeks after Tama's birthday, March 3, this puts its date at approximately March 17. However, it is unknown if the festival takes place on the same calendar date every year.
- In Chapter 973, a waning crescent moon was shown, implying that Oden's death, and subsequently the festival, occurred at the end of the month.
- In Chapter 987, however, a full moon is shown during the event.