ハーリー haarii, or in Itoman called ハーレー haaree, are dragon boat races. In Okinawa on May 4th of the lunar calendar, just as the rainy season comes to a close, the season of haari begins! There are races enarly every weekend through July.
It is a festival for fishermen to pray for a large catch and safe sailing. In Okinawan language, fishermen are called “uminchu” うみんちゅ (海人). The festival comes from China a few hundred years ago. There are several locations within Okinawa that Haari is held; the most famous are in Itoman and Naha. The is also a festival and race in Oujima (some people spell it Ojima) 奥武島, the island of tempura!
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