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Yomitan-son , Okinawa Related category:
Hachigatsu-Jugoya-Ashibi of Yomitan Village-Moon Viewing Festival of Namihira Area Moving Forward to the Festival Festival Chronicles Part 1 Festival Chronicles Part 2    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 276 minutes
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People born and raised in Namihira area, Yomitan Village, cherish an important event which marks the turn of the year. Hachigatsu-Jugoya-Ashibi (gathering of the August full moon) is a moon viewing festival held annually on August 15th of the lunar calendar, where we celebrate “the harvest moon.” Traditional dances are performed on the hand-made stage, and the residents of Namihira area pray for a large harvest. The festival also inspires “harmony and cooperation,” to reaffirm the joy of living and to bond generations for years to come. This event has been continuously passed down with great importance in Namihaya village. You are required to be 34 years old or younger in order to participate in the event. After the Bon festival of lunar calendar, full-fledged practice kicks off for the festival at the community center. In accordance with tradition, the junior members take charge of every step of the process, from practicing jikata(background vocals) to entertaining seniors in charge of instructing performers, preparation of stage and costumes, rehearsal arrangements, and so forth. Ten days prior to the festival, the lion costumes to be used for the opening and closing of the festival are taken out of the storage house, and Japanese sake is offered as a spiritual tribute for a success of the event and the prosperity of Namihira village. On the day of the festival at 9 o’clock in the morning, the participants again gather at the community center and pray to their ancestors for a successful festival. Afterword, they visit a variety of historical sites to offer prayers. This is all done before sunset, when the Namihira festival commences.

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