View Full Version : Tanabata Festival Today!

07 Aug 2014, 12:20
Hello everyone! Today is the Tanabata Festival - also called the Star Festival - and I encourage everyone to turn their gaze to the stars tonight to see the two lovers Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair) who, according to legend, meet in the sky for their yearly visit to each other tonight. It is customary at this time to write one's wishes on a small piece of paper to hang on a bamboo tree. Since I doubt many of us live near, or have, a bamboo tree, then maybe just writing them out and including them in your prayers, or hanging them on a wish tree of some sort, would serve as a good replacement. :)

The legend is written below.

Have a great night, and I plan to post another one of these for the upcoming Obon festival from the 13th to 15th of August. :^^:

Picture source: Tanabata by AnHellica (http://anhellica.deviantart.com/art/Tanabata-168011479)

Orihime (Vega), the Weaving Princess, daughter of the Tentei, the Sky King, wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa ("heavenly river", the Milky Way). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone.

Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi (Altair), the Cow Herder, who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven.

In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter's tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month (can be July or August depending on if one uses the Solar or Lunar calendar respectively) if she worked hard and finished her weaving.

The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orhime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet.

07 Aug 2014, 13:07
7th of July, isn't it? It's August now...

07 Aug 2014, 13:31
7th of July, isn't it? It's August now...

Depends on the region. Some areas celebrate it on July 7th now, since it's the seventh month of the calendar that's currently used in Japan, but some still go by the lunar date for it - that varies each year of course, but it's usually in August, this year the 7th day of the 7th cycle would have been a few days ago. That sort of leads to some celebrating on August 7th as a half way point between the two ideas. Same thing happens with Obon and some of the other festivals.

07 Aug 2014, 13:34
Ah, I see. I did not know that, thought it was universally 7/7. Thanks for the knowledge :)

Oh, and happy Tanabata to those celebrating it :D