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3 Must-See Summer Festivals in Okinawa
by Louie Anne Batac
August 24, 2016
Thinking of somewhere to be in August? Try Okinawa! It’s a great place to experience not one--but THREE--of the best festivals in what is known as “the Hawaii of Japan”.
First in line is Obon, a special time of year when the souls of the dead are believed to return to walk with the living. During this three-day Buddhist celebration of Unke (welcoming), Nakabi (middle), and Ukui (seeing off), families gather around their home altars and local shrines to commemorate their ancestors.
Rather than being a somber event, it’s actually quite joyful! With rhythmic whistles and painted faces, neighbors parade through the streets!
Those with the matsuri spirit can continue on to Okinawa’s famed Eisa and Orion Beer Festivals. Yes, Beer Fest comes sooner than Oktoberfest!
Hosted side-by-side, festival goers can enjoy one of the largest performances of Eisa dancing, and just a few steps away, sip on Okinawa’s own, Orion Draft Beer, to the tune of local bands and a laser light show!
Festival food is not in short supply here, as long as you’re willing to wait in line. But the Okinawan people are one of the friendliest in the world, and before you know it, you’re next to order one of these festival eats!