Tanabatta A star festival where all your dreams come true
Japan Travel Blog› entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
Tanabata is a Japanese star festival, that originated from the Chinese star festival, Qi Xi
Tanabata celebrates the meeting of Orihime(Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair). The Milky Way, a river made from stars that crosses the sky, separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on JUly 7th.
In Japan, people generally celebrate this day by writing wishes, on tanzaku small pieces of paper, and hanging them on bamboo, with other decorations. My son wrote that he wanted to become good at riding his new bycycle, other typical things that children write is that they want to be shinkansen drivers and girls often write that they want to have their own flower shop. Men and women write things relating to work, love etc.
Below is the tanabatta song with the English translation.
Sasa no ha sara-sara Nokiba ni yureru Ohoshi-sama kira-kira Kingin sunago
The bamboo leaves rustle, rustle,
shaking away in the eaves.
The stars go twinkle, twinkle;
Gold and silver grains of sand.
The story behind tanabatta
Tanabatta was inspired by a chinese folklore The Princess and the Cowherd
Orihime ( Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei ( Sky King, or the universe itself), wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (, Milky Way, lit. "heavenly river"). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it.
I took these photos at Hatamono shrine near Osaka but the largest Tanabata festival in Japan is held in Sendai