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By Jikishin Kobudo, Jan 31 2014 12:00PM

Though mainland Japan celebrates the new year in accordance with the solar calendar, many Okinawans hold true to their Ryu-Kyu traditions of celebrating new year in accordance with the lunar calendar. This is one example of how Okinawan culture remains close to that of the Chinese.


A tradition at new year is for the Okinawan people to take fresh water and use this to wash either themselves or to bless their property or possessions. This is called Wakamiji or "Young water".


The new year is a time of transition, during which the Okinawan people say goodbye to the fortunes of the previous year and get excited about the prospect of good fortune for the coming year. It is a time for families to come together and it is the most important of all festivals.

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