July 7, 2009
Today is Tanabata, or the Star Festival, here in Japan. It's not a national holiday, but we have Tanabata Festivals and other traditions to celebrate it.
The story goes...there was a princess called Orihime who was constantly weaving and a cow herder prince named Hikoboshi who was also always working. So Orihime's father, the King, introduced them, hoping they would hit it off. They did. In fact they had so much fun being together that they didn't work at all. This made the King very angry and they were separated on opposite sides of the Amanogawa, in English the Milky Way. But they were so sad the King felt sorry for them and allowed them to meet once a year on July 7th.
One of the most famous traditions is to write your wish or goals on a strip of paper called Tanzaku, and hang it on bamboo branches. It's said that the prince and princess are so happy to see each other on this day, they make the wish of everyone come true.
This one is written by a little boy who wrote 'I want to play in the pool.' It's simple wishes like this that make me smile.