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Tokyo Now #7: Tanabata, the Star Festival, on the seventh day of the seventh month (July 7)

Tokyo Now #7:  Tanabata,   the Star Festival,  on the seventh day of the seventh month (July 7)

According to Chinese legend, there once was a weaver princess named Orihime, the daughter of the Sky King, and a cow herder prince named Hikoboshi. They fell in love and they began neglecting their work.  Orihime ceased weaving cloth, and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to wander all around the skies. This angered the king, so as punishment he separated the two lovers across the “heaven river” the Milky Way.

The king allowed Orihime and Hikoboshi to see each other once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. But they cannot meet if the weather is rainy, so it’s customary to pray for good weather on this day.

This is the origin of the Star Festival,  Tanabata.  People write their wishes on stripes of colored paper, and hang them on the branches of leafy bamboo stems. 

Tanabata is one of the most loved traditional annual events in Japan.

Tanabata festivals are taken place all over Japan though most of them were canceled or performed on a smaller scale. 

by TFWT PA&C