Enjoy the Tanabata Festival!
Banboo Tree with Wishes
Tanabata Festival is one of the most popular seasonal festivals in Japan. Japanese symbols for Tanbata, "七夕," literary means an Evening of Seventh. Tanabata has its origin in the Chinese culture, but today it has become Japanese festival too, held on July 7th (or August 7th in some area). Toward the weekend of July 7th, there are many Tanabata Festivals in Japan.
The story of Tanabata is a fairy tale of a princess Orihime and a guy Hikoboshi. They are represented by the stars on the each side of the Milky Way.
The legends says, Orihime was a princess of God, and she was married to Hikoboshi. The job of Orihime was to weave god's cloth; but after their marriage, they stopped working in the blindness of love. When the god found out this, he separated the young two with the Milky Way, so that they can’t see each others anymore. After the judgment, God felt a little sorry for them, and allowed them to meet once a year, only on July 7th. But if it rains on July 7th, the water of the Milky Way rise too much for Hikoboshi to cross the river. The two can meet only if it's not raining on July 7th. That’s why people started a festival to pray the day's good weather.
At the Tanabata Festival, Japanese decorates a bamboo tree just like a Christmas tree, and write wishs on small cards and hung them on the bamboo tree. When Orihime and Hikoboshi could meet, the wish also come true. The custom of displaying bamboo in the Tanabata festival is seen only in Japan; since in Japan a bamboo is considerd a spiritual tree that all the souls of ancestors stay.
On July 7th, let's make a decorated bamboo tree and put your wishs on it, for Orihime and Hikoboshi might be too happy meeting each other to ignore your wish!