Tanabata Festival on July 7th

Tanabata is the Star Festival.

Tanabata is an annual festival held on July 7th (some are on Aug). It cerebrates the two star-crossed deities meet each other once a year in the heavens. Often translated to Star Festival or The Festival of the Weaver.

According to the legend, on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, two deities separated by the Milkey Way can meet each other in the heavens. We celebrate this event with writing our wishes on narrow colorful strips of papers hung on bamboo branches to pray our wishes come true.Children love this event and you can see many bamboo displays ornamented by colorful strips of papers throughout Japan this season.

The legend about a couple stars.

The legend has an interesting story about love.

Orihime (Vega) is a daughter of the Lord of Heaven and she is a weaver. She fell in love with a cowherd called Hikoboshi (Altrir) who lived in the opposite side of the Milkey Way and got married. They absorbed in love so deeply that they forgot their works. As a result, people’s clothes became poor and a disease spread over cow. The Lord of Heaven got angry, then he separated them by the Milky Way. However, as his seeing Orihime, his daughter, was so sad, crying everyday, the Lord of Heaven felt sorry for her and allowed them to meet each other only once a year. It is the night of July 7th. It is said that a bird called Kasasagi (magpie) make a bridge for them to pass the Milkey Way. Japanese people wish it’ll be fine on the night of July 7th for them to meet up.

The legend originated from China, but the festival developed originally in Japan. Bamboo is  believed to have power of driving away evils because of its vitality in Japan.

 Local Tanabata event.

Some regions are famous for big Tanabata Festibal with its beautiful Tanabata displays.

Sendai Tanabata around Aug 7th. Asagaya Tanabata around Aug 7th.


 What happens if it gets cloudy or rains?
Generally speaking, we feel sorry for them that they can’t meet up this time. But nicer idea is that maybe they are so shy that they are not happy to be seen by us. They might enjoy meeting over the clouds to avoid our eyes.


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A national government licensed tour guide in English loves to introduce Japanese life with unique photos📸. Mainly Tokyo🇯🇵 and surroundings.

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