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Seasonal Events

Column | Lunar Calendar Culture of Okinawa

Although the Gregorian calendar is often used in Japan, in Okinawa, there is a culture of celebrating annual events on the lunar calendar.
New Year is celebrated on the Gregorian calendar, but in some regions, the lunar New Year is also celebrated. When traditionally celebrated, the lunar calendar is often used, and Hari, which is an event to pray for good catch, is also held on May 4 of the lunar calendar each year. In Okinawa where ancestor worship continues to be practiced, functions to worship ancestors such as the March Ancestor Day (held in early April on the Gregorian calendar), Tomb Sweeping Festival (Shimi) to offer memorial service to the ancestors, and Bon Festival to welcome the ancestors from July 13 to 15 are all held on the lunar calendar.
The lunar calendar is also used commonly with respect to temperature and season, for example, on December 8 of the lunar calendar, mochi is steamed in shell ginger leaves to pray for good health, which is known as Muchibisa and said to be when the temperature drops. There are many occasions to see and experience the lunar calendar culture of Okinawa.

01 January

Shurijo Castle Park New Year’s Celebration

Cherry Blossom Festival

02 February

Okinawa International Orchid Show

Okinawa Marathon

03 March

Higashi Village Azalea Festival

04 April

Ryukyu Kaiensai Fireworks Festival

Ishigaki ITU Triathlon World Cup

All-Japan Triathlon Miyakojima

Lily Festival on Ie Island

05 May

Naha Haarii

06 June

Itoman Haaree

Ojima Sea God Festival (Hari)

Pillars of the Light for Peace (Lights of Peace)

07 July

Peaceful Love Rock Festival

Ocean Expo Park Summer Festival

Tedako Festival

All-Okinawa Eisa Festival / Orion Beer Festival

Angama

08 August

Hagoromo Festival

10,000 Eisa Dance Parade

09 September

Pāntu

Shurijo Castle Park Mid-Autumn Celebration

10 October

Okinawa Industrial Festival

Iheya Moonlight Marathon

The Naha Great Tug-of-War

Shurijo Castle Festival (Ryukyu Dynasty Parade)

11 November

Tsuboya Pottery Festival

Ritou Fair (Islands Exhibition)

Tour de Okinawa

12 December

Yomitan Pottery Market

Naha Marathon