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Hatagashira Festival in Naha this weekend

Date Posted: 2009-10-22

The 9th All-Island Hatagashira Festival, the festival featuring Okinawa’s traditional Eisa dance, moves into Naha Shintoshin Park Saturday and Sunday.

The two-day festival at Omoromachi in Naha City introduces the folk dance parade and booths featuring various regions’ products and cultures. An outgrowth of the festival, organizers say, is the cross mixing of cultures and new-unique performances being developed all over eh world.

A highlight of the All-Island Hatagashira Festival is the sport and tradition of enormous flagpoles with heavy decorations on top being waved by powerful men balancing the flagpoles as they demonstrate their strength and skills. To celebrate the birth and development of diverse dances and culture, two special festivals are held to bring everyone together.

Formerly called the Ryukyu Minzoku Festival, the Hatagashira Festival really delves into Okinawa’s customs and culture, and is a big part of the festival weekend. Most areas of the festival are free, but some have an entry fee of ¥2,000.

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