The Paantu festival takes place on the Okinawa Prefecture island of Miyakojima in the far south of the archipelego.
It was cancelled in 2021, so we can only hope 2022 goes ahead.
What happens and when is it?
The villagers dress up as ‘Paantu’ – supernatural beings covered in mud and foliage. They also wear long masks. Their aim is to get mud on everything – kids, bystanders, cars, houses. Don’t worry though, the mud is a form of exorcism intended to expel evil spirits and bring good fortune. Actually, if you don’t want to get dirty, you really shouldn’t go. In the past there have been incidents in which the Paantu have embraced tourists – covering their clothes in mud – and have been attacked in return. As a result, the locals keep the actual dates under their hats and the Paantu are now accompanied by attendants.
The usual timing of the event is on two evenings in the first half of the 9th month of the Chinese calendar. The dates listed are our guess only. Actual dates will be announced just before the event.To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many events have been canceled. Always check official sites before heading to an event.