Today is Tanabata also known as the Star Festival. Tanabata is the quintessential summer holiday - it tells a romantic tale and is something that is looked forward to and celebrated every year.
Tanabata originated from the Chinese Qixi Festival. It celebrates the meeting of two lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega & Altair). It is said that Orihime was a weaver of exquisite cloth. So much so, that unlike many of the woman of the time, she was so focused on her weaving that she had little time to find a husband. Seeing his daughter’s sadness, her father Tentai stepped in and found her a match.
When Orihime met Hikoboshi it was love at first site. The two were so in love that Orhime let go of her passion for weaving. Also, the father had given Hikoboshi the responsibly of watching his heard of cows which Hikoboshi ignored and let stray all over Heaven. Tentai was angry at the two and stepped in. It is said that he separated the two lovers by way of the Milky Way and would only allow them to visit each other on July 7th.
Today Tanabata is celebrated as by writing wishes on small pieces of paper and hanging them from bamboo which is sometimes known as a Wish Tree. The bamboo and wishes are set afloat on a river and burned after the festival. Many areas also celebrate with their own songs and dance. It is also customary to wear cool light weight cotton kimono or, yukata. Tanabata is colorful, happy and carries the essence summer.
What is your wish today? Whatever it is, I hope it comes true.
Wishing you a beautiful day,