Saturday night, we went to the Okinawa International Carnival. The festivals here are starting to blend together. They need to have something special to make me want to go. This one promised a tug-o-war, so it was worth braving the crowds!
There is a huge tug-o-war festival in the fall every year. We went last year. I loved it. The kids have since told me that they couldn’t see anything during the entire competition, the crowds were crazy, so I figured they would like this one.
We got there early, walked around, ate a little, checked out the ropes, played games, and ran into some friends.
Then they started talking about starting the festivities. The two ends of the rope were on opposite ends of the street. They first all worked together to pull them closer to each other.
As with most Okinawan festivals, they did an Eisa dance. I’ve seen this done tons of times now and it’s always a good show. This time, there was a good mix of Americans (I’m guessing) in there. They did an excellent job though. Once the dance was over, the two ends of the rope were pulled together and connected. There was 3 rounds of pulling. The kids got the first round and the adults got the last 2 rounds. My kids were so excited! They chanted to keep everyone in sync. I don’t know how well the kids got that though.
It was almost 8 o’clock by this point, so we didn’t hang around for the adults to do their rounds of pulling. We had fun though!