Hello, today is the seventh day of the seventh month. This is one of my favorite holidays! TANABATA, meaning “Star Festival.”

If you make a wish, as long as it doesn’t rain where you are, your wish will come true. Here’s the story from this site:

    Two stars, Weaver Princess Star and Herd Boy Star were in love. The Weaver Princess Star was very good at weaving, and her father was a heavenly king. Although the Herd Boy Star was a boy of lowly birth, the king, kind-hearted, let them marry. But because they were in love so much, they forgot to do their work. The Weaver Princess Star did not weave the cloth and the Herd Boy Star did not take care of the herds of sheep. The king became so angry, that he decided they must be separated. They were told to live at the opposite sides of the Milky Way, the Sparkling River of the Heavens. They were only to meet on the night of July 7th, when they cross the sky.

If it rains on July 7th, then the two stars, Orihime the weaver princess and Hikoboshi the herd boy, will not be able to meet for another year. So children and adults in Japan write down their wishes on this day on colorful origami paper and hang up their wishes on bamboo trees.

Tanabata Tree

If it does not rain on this year, then the two stars meet and everyone who made a wish has his wish come true! But if it rains, then the Milky Way, the river of the heavens, overflows, and the two cannot cross to meet each other on this one day of the year. People in Japan also wear the summer yukata (see further down the page here) and dance for the festival.

The particular two stars that this story describes are Orihime the princess weaver star called Altair in the constellation Aquila and the Hikoboshi herd boy star called Vega in the constellation Lyra. Altair and Vega are two of the three vertices of the Summer Triangle, which can be seen best in the summer months when it is almost directly overhead. Here are some other Tanabata sites: a children’s version, probably the most in-depth description, the full version, and a simple great description.

WHERE: Japan
WHEN: July 7th, every year.

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  1. Lila
    Posted Friday July 7, 2006 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Did you make a wish? Will you share it with your loyal readers?

  2. Posted Friday July 7, 2006 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    :) Isn’t it folk wisdom that you’re not supposed to say your wishes out loud?
    … In any case, I love Tanabata Wishes. I made one that I’ll know about by the end of the year, ask me then! Did you make one?!

  3. A Grandmother
    Posted Friday July 7, 2006 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I wish to dance at my granddaughter’s wedding! It is a good day today, no rain, a lot of sun.

  4. Dave
    Posted Friday July 7, 2006 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Very cool! I never knew the background behind this festival…I’ve seen it in movies and in some japanese role playing games. I made some colorful wish streamers and tied them to a basil plant on my deck, in lieu of bamboo.

  5. Posted Saturday July 8, 2006 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    A_Grandmother, that’s a great wish!
    Dave, sweet about the basil plants – great idea! I can imagine you making some great colorful streamers!!!

  6. Posted Saturday July 8, 2006 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    NEXT YEAR TANABATA WILL BE ON 07-07-07! I just realized that! WOW! What a celebration! I may need to go to Japan for that!!!!!! Yipppppppeee! S.

  7. Lila
    Posted Sunday July 9, 2006 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I have a friend who’s planning to have a baby on 07-07-07! She’s joking, of course, but she would really love it. Her grandmother’s birthday was 07-07-1907.

  8. Nick
    Posted Tuesday July 11, 2006 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    …She better get pregnant early in November… :)

    Hmmm… a wish… well, I’m a few days late. I think I made one on the 7th, though, if I recall. We’ll see if it comes true. If not, oh well. Non-attachment… that’s the state to be in. :) Namaste.

  9. Posted Friday August 4, 2006 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    GUYS, check out Dave Seah’s v. cool Tanabata streamers – make ’em yourself! I think these are super for Tanabata or any kind of festive party! Enjoy!

  10. Posted Friday April 17, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    this is amazing http://www.real-wishes.com

2 Trackbacks

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