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.



4 Responses to “Tanabata”

  1. gracebuchele July 15, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    Tanabata is one of my favorite holidays in Japan.
    I love going from bamboo tree to bamboo tree writing (and reading) wishes 🙂

    Is it rude to read other people’s wishes during Tanabata?


    • tokyo5 July 15, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

      Do you write more than one?

      No, it’s not rude to read them.
      Can you read Japanese?


  2. Musings July 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    I remember my grandmother sending our daughter an exquisite, gorgeous tanabata doll some 30 years ago. It had a bamboo tree with the teeniest origami cranes on it. What a fun holiday. I hope you’re not too hot in Tokyo.


    • tokyo5 July 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Oh yeah! It’s very hot in Tokyo now!
      Rainy season has ended and now it’s sweltering and humid here!


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