Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (2 of 16)

Finally, after almost 2 years of living on island we made it to some dragon boat races, although not the big Naha one held each year during Golden Week…that will have to wait for next year, but dragon boat races nonetheless.

the dragon boats lined up before the races started

the dragon boats lined up before the races started

During May & June each year there are many Haarii events also known as Festival of the God of the Sea; although I only just learnt that the boats used during these races are much smaller!

I enjoyed people watching the most...

I enjoyed people watching the most…

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (5 of 16)

Dragon Boat racing has been around for a few thousand years, although ‘local legend has it that the fearsome-looking craft first appeared on Okinawa about 600 years ago’ according to THIS article.

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (1 of 16)

 

racing!

racing!

I had read that the Chatan Nirai Haarii was one of many taking place on fathers day and really wanted to go since I hadn’t seen any other event advertised for later in the month.

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (7 of 16)

at the start of the race

at the start of the race

We didn’t quite make it for the 8am Opening Ceremony, but did catch some drumming as we parked the car and made our way to the wharf.  Unfortunately after that there wasn’t a lot of action until some time after 9 when the racing started.Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (9 of 16)

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (10 of 16)

By this time we were all melting into a pool of sweat & sunscreen and the girls were already over it so we left sometime after 10 in seek of air conditioning!

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (11 of 16)

What I particularly loved about the event is how it was open to all ages, we saw lots of little kids (some even looked younger than Eden) participating which I have found to be very common here in Okinawa; everything tends to be very family friendly.

this was pretty much Clio the entire time lol

this was pretty much Clio the entire time lol

We asked Eden if she would like to do it one day…she said no, but I think I will keep working on it!

the girls watching the kids getting in/out of the dragon boats

the girls watching; waiting for the kids to come back from their race

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (13 of 16)

I have a few friends who have competed in the dragon boat races and while I have always feared away because lets face it my not even 5 foot frame isn’t the strongest I actually think I may attempt to get on a team before we leave this wonderful place.

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (14 of 16)

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (15 of 16)

Even Matt thought it would be cool to be able to join a crew…lets see if we can make it happen in the next couple of years! We both concluded that being on the inside of the boat seems a lot more fun that on the outside!

Fun Flying Four Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)  (16 of 16)

 

 

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7 responses to “Chatan Nirai Haarii (Dragon Boat Races)

    • What a cool thing for the library to do! I know we had/have them in NZ when I was growing up but I don’t ever remember going to them! I’m looking forward to catching the big race next May!

  1. Hahah we are the same height! I’ve never seen those up north but maybe it just wan’t heavily advertised? I don’t know. Totally fun though and poor Clio!

    • Sadly I am not even 5 foot haha! Interesting I wonder if it’s more an Okinawan/Ryukyu tradition…I’ll have to look into that! It is pretty big here with most villages/islands partaking in an event of some sort!

      • Oh wow! Hahah you are shorter then me? I’m at 5ft and a little change. I think it might be a Okinawan thing maybe, cause I don’t remember hearing about them in northern Japan.

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