Star Festival

The 7th night in July is tanabata, one of the traditional festivals in Japan.
When this word is written in kanji, "tana" means seven and "bata" means evening or night.
This festival comes from the story of two stars.
"Hikoboshi "or "Kengyuu" (Altair) and "Shokujo "or "Orihime" (Vega) are lovers who live separated by the Milky Way which is called the river in the sky. They can meet together only one night a year when it's fine. It is the seventh night in July.

We used to make the special decoration to celebrate this festival and placed at the door. It is bamboo branch with paper crafts on. In addition to decorations made of paper, we hung the paper with our wishes written on.

When I was a child I loved this festival because it is so romantic.
In those days, in my home town, almost every home made and decorated bamboo branches at the door. I remember that they stop by at each house and praised their branches each other.
Next day the bamboo branches were floated in the river, according to the traditional custom.

One day the environment concern group started to complain of this custom saying that the floating branches would become junk and pollute the water.
Then we ceased this decoration and this festival was almost ended in general citizens.
There are two cities that are so famous for Star Festival decoration. They are Hiratsuka City and Sendai City. In these two cities this festival is cerebrated actively still now.
Japanese love but the decoration for this festival remains only in commercial use today.

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