Tanabata: The Japanese Star Festival

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Tanabata- Japanese Star Festival Every country around the world had many different festivals and celebrations that out own. Japan has many different festivals each season based on the lunar calendar. One of the most celebrated festivals in Japan is a festival called Tanabata, which is also called the Star Festival.

The first annual observance of summer is known as Tanabata, falling on July 7. It is a day that commemorates a romantic story, first handed down to Japan's imperial court via China and Korea and then becoming popular among the common people. The legend is of the Cowherd Star (Altair) and Weaver Star (Vega), lovers separated by the Milky Way, that are allowed to meet just once a year--on the seventh day of the seventh month. On this day it is believed that wishes will be granted. People write their wishes on narrow strips of colored paper and hang them, along with other paper ornaments, on bamboo branches placed in the backyards or entrances of their homes.

They then pray hard that their wishes will come true.

The story of Altair and Vega is simple but has captured the respect and celebration of millions of Japanese people each year. This ancient Chinese/Japanese star festival celebrates two lovers kept apart by the celestial river, The Milky Way. Two stars, Vega and Altair, represent the lovers. Vega is the weaving goddess; Altair is a young ox herdsman. According to the legend, they fell in love, but then were forced to part because they neglected their duties by other god and goddess of the sky. However, they were permitted to meet once a year on "the 7th night of the 7th Moon". That is why this holiday is celebrated on the 7th day of July,