July 7, 2009

Tanabata


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.

3 comments:

White Oleander said...

When I visited Japan at a young age I loved to visit shrines. Especially picking a stick that comes out of a wooden cylinder (not sure if you know what I'm talking about). But I never hand my wishes on a tree though.

henny said...

Belated Happy Tanabata, too, Kaori. And what was your wish? ;). I do wish your wishes come true. Mm, what's mine? It had something to do with photography and Turkey :).

Kaori said...

White Oleander, that would be the 'Omikuji' that tells your fortune, I've done it too! That can be done all year round, but Tanabata is just once a year :)

Henny, photography..of course, but turkey??? I hope you get your wish! I wrote about my blueberry plant :)

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