A YEAR IN OKINAWA @@@ Kyoko Nakamoto

There held various kind of ceremonies and cultural event throughout the year in Okinawa.They have many distinctive features. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

January
gMuchih:Make grice-cakehwrapped with Ginger leaf for driving away
especially new birth babiefs evils and pray for the health of children.
FebruaryhSakura-matsurih: Japanfs earliest cherry tree blossoms here in
Okinawa.Cherry blossom Festival in Yaedake where the northern district of
the island is famous.
MarchhHamauih:Traditional girls festival to celebrate the beach opening
seen in the outer islands. It is also for drive away onefs evils.
AprilhShimihFRelatives gather to clean the family tombfs surrounding area
and offer ceremonial foods for their ancestors.
MayhYukka-nu-hih:Okinawan traditional childrenfs day with hopes for
health and growth of the children.
Junehharih:There held Dragon boat races traditionally by fishermen
throughout Okinawa to pray for a maritime safety and bountiful fishing,
JulyhSummer festivalh:There held various kind of summer festivals like beer fest or music fest with Fire works.
AugusthEisah It is known as the Bon Festival,a three-day observance when ancestor spirits are invited to visit their families in the living world.
Eisa dances during these period are for welccoming ancestral spirits.
SeptemberhShi-shi-maih:Lion-dances are widely perfomed at many area of
Okinawa to pray for a good harvest and rituals to despel evil spirits on the
fall night of full moon.
OctoberhTsuna-hikihFIt is traditionally the fight event to gain a great harvest
between the farming villages.The Naha Great Tug-of- War has a history of
400 years and the weight of the Ropes recorded in the Guinness book.
NovemberhHatagashirahFHatagashira is a kind of sports and tradition of
balancing enormous flagpoles with heavy decorations at the top.Each flags
waving beautifuly and the audience thrilled with the skills of powerful men
balancing the flag poles.
DecemberhMarathonhFThe Naha Marathon is one of Japanfs largest citizensf
full 42.195km marathon with over 30.000 runners and joggers participating
every year.