Okinawa Haari ハーリー: Dragon boat races

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!