May 5, 2011

Ready, Set, Row!

Today was the last main event for Golden Week. It is the Naha Dragon Boat Race. Memebers of Armed Forces of US Military participate in this event every year. It is one of the many great ways to meet the local nations & learn more about their culture.

Haarii are dragon-boat races, said to have been imported from China, to wish for a bumper year and pray for the safety of fishermen. Dragon-boat races are held everywhere in Okinawa, but the boats used in Naha Haarii are decorated with carvings of dragonheads and tails. The main event comes on the final day, fittingly called the main Haarii, in which 3 boats - Naha (dark green), Kume (yellow), and Tomari (black) - compete for the years grand prize, after a traditional Ugan Haarii (boat-race of prayer).