05 July 2012

☆ Tanabata Matsuri ☆

Tanabata Matsuri   The Star Festival
July 7th (or) August 7th

Legend has it that a long time ago, there lived a princess named Orihime, who's father was Tentei, the Lord of the Heavens. Orihime spent her time weaving beautiful clothing for her father and never had time to fall in love, which made her very sad. Wanting to cheer her up, Tentei arranged her engagement to Hikoboshi who lived on the other side of the Amanogawa river.

The two quickly fell in love, and began shirking their duties. Tentei became angry, and as punishment separated them on each side of the Amanogawa. Apart from her love Orihime became sadder then ever.  Softening, Tentei agreed that once a year on the 7th day of the 7th month, if she had done all of her weaving, a ferryman (the Moon) would cross them Amanogawa, reuniting her with Hikoboshi.

If Orihime didn't hold up her part of the bargain, Tentei would cause the Amanogawa to flood, making it impossible for the ferryman to cross. In this case, Magpie would take pity on the lovers and create a bridge of their own bodies for them to cross.

Orihime is a representation of the star Vega.
Hikoboshi is a representation of the star Altair.
Amanogawa is the Milky Way.

To celebrate, people create paper decorations, and write wishes on paper slips called Tanzaku. The decorations are then hung on bamboo, in hopes that they will come true. The main decorations are:

Paper Kimono ~ Prayer for Good Sewing Skills 
1,000 Origami Cranes ~ Prayer for Long Life
Paper Nets ~ Prayer for Good Luck (esp. in Fishing)
Paper Trash Bags ~ Prayer for Using Resources Wisely
Paper Purses ~ Prayer for Wealth

To celebrate Tanabata at home:
Printable Decorations ~ Decoration Guide (in Japanese)


  1. :*・°☆ How adorable! ☆.。.:*・

  2. ~★Very interesting! And now I know. And knowing is half the battle!★~