The Urasoe Tedako festival Matsuri is an incredibly popular Okinawan festival usually held on the third weekend of October in Urasoe City.
Every year, over 200,000 people from all over Japan attend the festival to honor the three royal king descendants, one of them being King Tedako, otherwise known as the son of the sun who ruled over the Chuzan district.
The festival is an exciting mix of vibrant theater, music, and performance art shows such as Eisa, Tedako Haarii, and fireworks displays.
Alongside the Performing Arts Festival, there are stalls, stalls selling food and drinks, and souvenirs, offering an exciting insight into the culture of Okinawa.
What Is Tedako Festival?
History of the Tedako Festival
The Urasoe Tedako Matsuri or Tedako Festival is an Okinawan festival held annually, usually on the third weekend of October in Urasoe City.
This celebrates the three royal kings – King Tedako, also known as the son of the sun, who ruled over the Chuzan district.
People from near and far gather together to honor Tedako’s legacy each year, with 200,000 visitors often attending the festival.
This festival is steeped in history, with the ritual of Tedako Haarii established centuries ago. This occurs on the day of the Urasoe Tedako Matsuri and marks the commencement of the festival.
A long boat decorated with long poles and golden paper baubles is set off in the harbor with Tedako’s descendants onboard and is greeted with much joy and jubilation.
More recently, the Urasoe Tedako Matsuri has evolved to become a celebrating of the old and the new. There is a vibrant Performing Arts Festival that showcases traditional music, folk, and drama performances.
And the festival wouldn’t be complete without the thunderous Eisa Shows. And as the day draws to a close, the night sky is filled with a spectacular Fireworks Show.
The history behind the Urasoe Tedako Matsuri is special and unique. It is a great way for the local people to remember their roots and for the rest of us to pay respects and honor the accomplishments of King Tedako and those who are descended from him.
Tedako Festival Celebrations
Every year, around 200,000 people from all over Japan attend the Urasoe Tedako Matsuri – an Okinawan festival usually celebrated on the third weekend of October in Urasoe City.
This festival was created to honor the memory of the three royal king descendants – one of them being King Tedako (also known as the son of the sun), who ruled over the Chuzan district.
The festival begins with a traditional parade, accompanied by singing and dancing hosted by the local school. This gives way to the Performing Arts Festival, with different musical and dance performances from locals, schoolchildren, and international artists.
There are also a variety of different stalls offering amazing traditional Okinawan food and drinks.
Eisa Shows and Tedako Haarii – a dragon boat race – are also common during this festival.
In the evening, the festival culminates with one of the most spectacular moments, when a fireworks show begins.
Thousands of multicolored lights fill the sky for everyone to admire. The festival is a real delight for all who join, with so many activities available for people of all ages and demographics to enjoy.
The Urasoe Tedako Matsuri is a true celebration of culture and tradition, and definitely worth a visit.
Whether their eyes be set on the traditional toys and stalls or the fireworks, visitors are sure to be captivated in the charm of this delightful Okinawan festival.
Meaning Behind the Festival
The Tedako Festival, or Urasoe Tedako Matsuri, is far more than just a celebration for the people of Urasoe City.
Every third weekend of October, around 200,000 people come to pay their respects and honor the three royal king descendants – one of them being King Tedako (also known as the son of the sun) who reigned over the Chuzan district. The festivities are a mixture of Okinawan tradition, culture, dance, and art.
At the heart of the celebration lies the meaning of the event, which goes deeper than just participating in traditional activities. The festival pays homage to the memory of Tedako and the importance of his leadership in the area.
The fiery red and gold Eisa Shows, the festive Tedako Haarii boat parade, and the captivating Fireworks Shows symbolize the strength and courage of the leader. People thank him for remaining a part of their memories, as he continues to be a living part of their culture, traditions, and ideals.
By attending the festival and participating in the events, people also commemorate the spirit of the king, giving his memory a place of importance in their lives.
The occasion of the Tedako Festival brings about a sense of unity and belonging amongst the crowd. The Performing Arts Festival transports the viewers to a different era, one which the people of Urasoe City carry in their hearts.
The bursts of color and sound create an atmosphere that honors Tedako and celebrates the joyful side of life. With this one day of celebration, people bask in contentment, their sense of identity and their place within the community affirmed.
Venues Involved in Tedako Festival
One of the most beloved festivals in Okinawa is the Urasoe Tedako Matsuri – usually held on the third weekend of October in Urasoe City.
This festival is an annual event that honors the three royal king descendants – one of them being King Tedako (also known as the son of the sun), who ruled over the Chuzan district.
During the 3-day festival, designated venues play an important role in creating a successful celebration and having it remembered among locals and foreigners alike.
For the Urasoe Tedako Matsuri, the main event occurs on Saturday evening with a significant fireworks show and eisa shows – and around 200,000 people usually attend.
The participants are usually divided among three main sites – the main one being the Urasoe Dome, the Urazoe City Hall and the Urasoe Municipal Gymnasium for the Performing Arts Festival.
Additionally, there are several other places that are set up to celebrate the festival’s activities, such as the Tedako Haarii, an event in which a portable shrine is paraded around the city.
The roads leading up to all the venues are very lively on the day of the festival, with visitors from all over the country and beyond piling in, eager to be part of the traditional event.
As the stands and vendors get taken over by excited visitors, the atmosphere turns electrifying and people start dancing, singing and participating in different activities, celebrating the day and Tedako festival in the best way possible.
All of these venues work together to create a unique and memorable experience for the locals and tourists who come to enjoy the festival, creating a truly remarkable atmosphere to enjoy the celebration of Okinawa’s beloved Tedako.
Impact of the Festival on Culture
The Tedako Festival (Urasoe Tedako Matsuri) held in Urasoe City is a major event in the Okinawan festival season.
Dating back over 400 years, this festival is a way to honor the three royal king descendants – one of them being King Tedako (also known as the son of the sun), who ruled over the Chuzan district.
It usually takes place on the third weekend of October each year and attracts around 200,000 people to witness the show.
The Tedako Festival is an array of amazing events. Featuring an unforgettable Performing Arts Festival, Eisa Shows, Tedako Haarii, and Fireworks Shows to enchant the audience, this festival is a truly incredible experience.
This festival unifies the people for that one amazing day, and helps to bring about understanding regardless of their background or beliefs.
Because of its cultural heritage and contribution to the Okinawan festival scene, the Tedako Festival is an emblem of rich culture and history.
Many traditions, such as folk dances and other cultural events, keep the past alive and help to pass down the truths of their culture to newer generations.
Additionally, bringing people together in harmony, it allows everyone to celebrate their common history and culture in their own unique way.
The Tedako Festival is also a great way to promote tourism in the region, catering to locals as well as visitors from abroad. People come from around the world to be able to experience the 200,000 people celebration of culture and history that this festival has to offer.
The Tedako Festival not only preserves Okinawan culture but also has an immense impact on the culture of the region. It has become an integral part of the Okinawan calendar and is an unforgettable experience. By unifying people from all walks of life, it brings to life the unique cultural contributions that the region has to offer.
In conclusion, the Urasoe Tedako Matsuri is a highly celebrated Okinawan festival usually held on the third weekend of October in Urasoe City.
This festival honors the three royal king descendants, one of them being King Tedako (also known as the son of the sun) who was of the Chuzan District.
Over 200,000 people attend every year to enjoy a variety of unique performances such as Eisa Shows, Tedako Haarii, and Fireworks Shows. This festival has become a beloved tradition on the island and will surely continue to enchant its audiences for years to come.
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