Okinawa Island Guide

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This is a traditional religious/animist festivity that has been passed down through the ages in the Shimajiri district of Miyako Island to ward off bad spirits and pray for good health. The event spans three days. Painting the whole body with mud and dressed in leaves and wearing curved wooden masks, young male villagers disguised as paantu, indigenous gods, walk in the community to bless people with mud, especially newborn babies and families with houses newly constructed during the past year. The paantu sometimes chase after people trying to avoid getting muddy and also make children cry. The mud used for this event comes from a sacred local well and is believed to bring good luck when applied to people or houses.

Event name: Paantu
Date: September of the lunar calendar (late September to early November)
Place: Shimajiri district (Hirara, Miyakojima Island)
Admission: Free