Tanabata in Japan
July the seventh is called Tanabata, that is to say "the Star Festival" in Japan. Tanabata is one of the chief traditional events of the year. This is the very day when Orihime(the Vega) and Hikoboshi(the Altair) can meet each other just once a year across the Milky way. They are so happy to meet each other that they can grant people's wishes. So people write their wishes on narrow strip of colored paper, and hang them along with various paper ornaments on bamboo branches placed in the backyards or entrances of their homes. They then pray hard that their wishes will come true. Such star festival is unique to Japan. The Tanabata festivals thought to have started in China. It was transmitted to Japan during Yamato court period and was combined with traditional local customs to become an official event at the Imperial court.
The legend of Tanabata
Two stars, Orihime and Hikoboshi were in love. Orihime was very good at weaving, and her father was a heavenly king. Although Hikoboshi was a cattle breeder. The king had a kind heart, so let them marry. But because they were in love so much, they forgot to do their work. Orihime did not weave the cloth and Hikoboshi did not take care of his cattle. The king become so angry, so that he decided they must be separated. They were told to live at the opposite sides of the Milky way. They were only to meet on the night of July seventh, when they cross the sky. So July seventh is " the Love Star Day".
Last updated 6-Dec-2001