July is Tanabata – by board member Ayumi Luke

Let’s celebrate “Tanabata” ! 


Japan has so many festivals all year long and the most popular event in the summer is celebrated on July 7th. It’s called 七夕 or Tanabata and it means the evening of 7th. 

Japan’s many seasonal events have origins in China and Tanabata is also from the Chinese Star Festival called the Qixi festival. 

The princess of the Heavens, Orihime , who lived by the Milky way and a hardworking young cowherd, called Hikoboshi who lived on the other side of the Milky way fell in love. They got married and they started to neglect their duties. Orihime used to weave beautiful kimonos but stopped weaving and Hikoboshi stopped taking care of his cows. Orihime’s father, the emperor got so angry he separated them on either side of the Milky Way. The emperor let the couple meet once a year on July 7th, which corresponds to the celebration of Tanabata. 

Write Tanabata wishes!
During Tanabata, we decorate bamboo with origami ornaments and write wishes on rectangular shaped paper (Tanzaku) and hang them on bamboo. You could write wishes, with drawings, poems and lyrics or anything you want. We will have a Tanabata table during this year’s Strawberry Festival on July 17th. Please come and decorate the bamboo with your wishes! 

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