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Tanabata

7 Jul

Today is 七夕 (Tanabata) in Japan.

The name of this holiday means “seventh evening” because it falls on the seventh day of the seventh month (July 7) … it originally came from China (where, I believe, it’s celebrated a bit differently than in Japan).

In the Chinese lunar calendar, the seventh day of the seventh month falls in mid-August, so it’s not Tanabata there yet.

In Japan, people write a wish on a piece of special paper and tie it to a bamboo Tanabata tree … and the wish is said to be granted on this special day.

There is a back story about two stars in the sky that are a prince and princess who are in love but are forbidden by their familes to be together (kinda like Romeo and Juliet).
But they can meet only once a year … the seventh day of the seventh month.

At Tokyo Disneyland, visitors to the amusement park can write their wish on Tanabata paper that has mouse-ears and hang it on Mickey’s Tanabata tree.

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