Shuri Castle Park hosts New Year’s Party

Royal ceremonies take place at Shuri Castle during the New Year celebration from Jan. 1 through 3.

A party that lasts three days and introduces the King and Queen and provides live classical music and performing arts?

It’s a party at Shuri Castle Park, a three-day event daily 8:30 a.m. ~ 5 p.m. to celebrate the new year.  The ceremony brings the New Year’s greetings to the Emperor who incorporated the essence of the Ryukyu Dynasty, a flashback to history.  Ryukyu dancing suitable for a king and queen is presented in a ceremony called “Chouhaiokishiki”.

The ceremony runs in three parts.  The Ninufanuunufee is a ceremony to the God of heavens to worship, and is the ceremony during which the upper and lower sides set the heart to one, also while it was solemn, and celebrated the new year praying for peace.  The second element, the Chounuunufee, looks at the beginning of the year, when people celebrate the king in a ceremony with prayers for prosperity of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Shishimai lion brings good harvest for the coming year.

The final ceremony, Ohtohri, invites subordinates and the king to drink a cup of awamori together in celebration.  The ceremony includes prayers for the prosperity of a king, a prince and a grandchild.  Throughout the ceremonies, performances of musical instruments and Ryukyu traditional dance takes place.

January 1st and 2nd the ceremonies for the appearance of the King and Queen take place at 10 a.m. On January 3rd, ceremonies with the King and Queen take place at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.  January 1st ~ 3rd there are commemorations of photo sessions with the King & Queen at noon, and Ryukyu Performing Arts Celebrations at 12:30 p.m.  Throughout the day, from 8:300 a.m. ~ 5 p.m., there will be free jasmine tea and non-alcoholic fermented rice drinks.  The daily flag hoisting are at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Admission to Shuri Castle Park is ¥800 for adults, ¥600 for high school students, and ¥300 for junior high school and elementary students.  Kids under age six are free.  Officials say a few events will be held in the free zone, where there is no charge.