Festivals, Holidays, and Special Events

Here is a “timeline” for special occasions and events in Okinawa (or Japan in general). Some posts are not created yet… it is a work in progress. Click the links to find out a little more info on each.


January: New Year (New Year’s Cards: 年賀状, Hatsumode, New Year’s Shopping: 福袋, Winter Gifts, Otoshidama, Kagami-biraki: 鏡開き, New Year’s Eve in Okinawa : 大晦日, New Year’s Foods in Okinawa), Shinnenkai, Muuchi-no-hi 1 and Muuchi part 2, Coming of Age Day, Lunar New Year


FebruaryBean-scattering Festival: 節分Setsubun festivals in Okinawa: 節分祭,  Cherry blossoms: 桜, Night-time Sakura: 夜桜, National Foundation Day, 16th day of the Lunar New YearValentine’s Day


MarchSangwacha: サングヮチャー, Girls’ Day: Hinamatsuri 雛祭り, Spring Equinox (春分), White Day, Hama uri 浜下りKume-no-Sakura: クメノサクラ, Azalea Festival


AprilUrizun: うりずん, Shiimii (しーみー), Ie-jima Lily Festival


MayOkinawa Haari ハーリー: Dragon boat races, Golden Week, Childrens’ Day: こどもの日, Motobu Hydrangea, Hotaru 蛍 (fireflies), Tsuyu 梅雨 (Rainy Season), Nanmin Matsuri (Naminoue Shrine)Okinawa Lunar Calendar, 5th month 4th day: ユッカヌヒー


JuneSagaribana (Powderpuff Trees): サガリバナ, Uta-no-hi 歌の日: Songs Day, Irei-no-hi 慰霊の日: War Memorial Day


JulyTanabata, “Star Festival”: 七夕Summer festivals: 夏祭り,  Okinawa’s bon dance, Eisa: エイサーBeach BBQ party: ビーチパーティー, Haebaru Sunflowers, Ocean Day, Moon Beach LuauGrape Picking in Okinawa: ぶどう狩りBeer Gardens in Okinawa: ビアガーデン


AugustOkinawa Obon: 御盆 (旧盆)Summer Gift-giving: 御中元,  Tug of War: 大綱引き, Mountain Day, Miruku-kami: ミルク神, Ada Shinugu Matsuri (Kunigami)


SeptemberTsukimi: 月見, Autumn Equinox (秋分), Shuri Castle Mid-Autumn Banquet, Respect for the Aged Day: 敬老の日8th Lunar month in Okinawa: ハチグヮチ (八月)Okinawa Lion Dance: 獅子舞, Ungami (Ogimi village), Orion Beer and All-island Eisa festivalWauke Juugoya Matsuri: 和宇慶十五夜祭


October: Sports Day, Juusanya (Moon-viewing, pt. 2),


November: Culture Day (文化の日), Shichi-go-san (七五三), Labor Thanksgiving Day (勤労感謝の日), Beaujolais Nouveau Day: 3rd Thursday of November


December: Christmas, Emperor’s Birthday, Bonenkai: 忘年会, New Year’s Eve


Other special events:

A Wedding in Okinawa: 結婚式

Child’s 1st birthday, tanka-yu-eh: タンカユーエー

Industry Product Fairs: 産業祭り

Prefectural Product Fairs

Christmas Tea Ceremony: クリスマス茶会