Events in Okinawa
Naha Haarii (May)
Thought to be the largest Haarii on the island, Naha Haarii is the highlight of the Japanese Golden Week in May. Staged over three days, the first and third day are devoted to Haarii racing. On the second day, festival goers are invited to ride on the dragon boats and the final day reaches a crescendo with music, fireworks and folk performances.
Ojima Sea God Festival (May)
The racing of dragon boats is the central theme of the Ojima Festival in May, however, several variations of each race can be enjoyed by sightseers. The drifting boat race is particularly impressive, with oarsmen leaping from a bridge into their boats. The festival ends with villagers and fishermen alike, offering prayers for the season's catch and their safe return home.
All-Okinawa Eisa Festival / Orion Beer Festival (August-September)
The largest annual festival on the Island, the Eisa Festival brings together young people from around the island who perform song and dance in August and September. On the same ground is the Orion Beer Festival, where local groups perform concerts and a magnificent firework display is held. In addition, great beer is offered to festival-goers. This festival will delight with its unique flavours.
Spanning three days in September, Pantu is a traditional religious festival where the residents of Miyako Island dress their bodies in mud, leaves and wear hand carved wooden masks. Historically, Pantu was an annual ritual to ward off bad spirits and to ask for good health.