Tomb Sweeping Festival held to wish for prosperity
April 6, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
The Tomb Sweeping Festival called shimi started in various places in Okinawa on April 5. Many families visited the graveyards of their ancestors. At the Shikina-en in Naha, people offered various foods, including fruits and sweets to their ancestors. They reported their family news for the past year to their ancestors, and joined their hands in prayer for the health and prosperity of living family members.
Masakatsu Higa, 73, said, “The Tomb Sweeping Festival is a chance for us to exchange news and communicate with our ancestors in a spiritual manner. I spoke to them in prayer at the shimi festival today.” His elder brother Masataka, 75, younger brother Masatoshi, 67, and other family members, including children and grandchildren, also gathered at the family tomb.
Meanwhile, at the Ikemiya family tomb, 18 family members from four generations took part in the shimi. “I told the ancestors how my children and their family members were getting along. I prayed that we would have good health. There was a lot of hard preparation work for today, but I was pleased that it all went off successfully,” said Misako Ikemiya, 70.
(English translation by T&CT)
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