Tanabata (Star Festival) - July 7

What's the meaning of this event?
July 7 is the Weaver Star Festival (Tanabata). The Tanabata Festivals held in Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) and Hiratsuka (Kanagawa Prefecture) are two of the most famous festivals in Japan.

What do people do on this day?
Several days before July 7, people write their wishes or poems on strips of poetry paper in various colors, and hang them on leafy bamboo; then on the night of the 7th, they are put out in the garden. These are attractive enough to be called summer Christmas trees.

What's the history of this event?
The Chinese legend, which has it that Altair (the Cowherd Star) and Vega (the Weaver Star) were split apart by the two banks of the River of Heaven (the Milky Way), Ama-no-gawa, and come together once a year on this night, has aligned with Japanese belief. Originally a festival carried out among the Court nobility.

Are there objects associated with this event?

Sasa-kazari (Bamboo-decoration)
People decorate branches of a cut bamboo with strips of paper (tanzaku) on which poems or proverbs have been written.
Colored threads are also hung on the bamboo branches. The custom of decorating a bamboo arose from the belief that if you wrote poems of proverbs on strips of paper and offered them to the stars, you would acquire good penmanship skills.

Here is very famous song which is related with this event. It is called " Tanabata (Star festival)." Please hear and practice it!

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Date last modified: Tuesday, 05-Mar-2002 16:50:02 EST
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