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Bones Washed and Families Feast During “Seimei” Festival

Date Posted: 2000-04-14

The traditional Okinawan “Seimei” festival has started from April 4. During the next two weeks families visit their ancestors’ graves to clean them and have a party in honor of the deceased. Traditionally the bones of those in the graves are also washed. At the party people eat festive food, play shamisen and dance in front of the grave. The custom of washing the bones originates from China where people fleeing frequent floods often took the bones of their ancestors with them.

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