(I'll try to explain what these series are...)
This is called 'sagicho' in Japanese. The name is different from area to area.
Many areas hold this festival for travelaer's guardian deity. From another angle, folklore, people meet God of Shintoism with New Year's decorative pine branches and other decorations for New Year during that period. And see the God off with this blaze.
Many bamboos are used here. In the pictures people are baking rice cakes. It's said if you eat it rice cake baked w/ this fire, you will be in a good health that year.
...Hope this helped your understanding these pictures (#1~4)