Harvest moon leads to Chushu no Utage

By Bill Charles

For many, the events of next Monday equate to a mid-autumn celebration party, when the harvest moon is full and everyone is ready to celebrate.

Monday the 8th is August 15th in the Chinese calendar, and a time that Okinawans and people in many parts of the world have paid homage to Mother Nature’s most beautiful harvest moon, ‘Chushu no Meigetu’. Prayers go up for fertility during a party under the moon.

The doors to Okinawa’s most famous tourist attraction, Shuri Castle in Naha City, are open and free for the Chushu no Utage mid-autumn celebration both Saturday and Sunday starting at 6:30 p.m.

The World Heritage Shurijo Castle Park will hold its mid-autumn annual celebration party, so called “Chushu no Utage,” on Saturday and Sunday, September 6th and 7th. “We reproduce one of Sappou shichien” party of the eighth lunar month”, says a Shuri Castle official who explains that the event recognizes the messenger “sapposhi” of the Chinese emperor. This weekend is the ideal time to both enjoy Okinawan classic dance and a form of narrative traditional Ryukyuan opera dance, so called ‘Kumiodori’. It is a human national treasure, and Okinawans are always excited to perform a rendition. The festivities run from 6:30 p.m. ~ 9 p.m. at Shuri Castle Park. Admission is free.


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