Do you know “Tanabata”?

七夕って、ご存知?

Yoko Kawakami
My Eyes Tokyo E/J Translator  

 

You may see this kind of colorful sight when you visit Japan in early July.
7月初旬に日本を訪れると、このようなカラフルな光景を見かけると思います。  

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Taken by ymtnprn

What are these ornaments? These are for Tanabata, the Star Festival! Japanese people celebrate Tanabata (七夕) on July 7th. This festival is originated from the Chinese legend of two stars, Orihime (織姫, Vega) and Hikoboshi (彦星, Altair). According to the legend, Orihime, a weaving girl, and Hikoboshi, a cowherd boy, loved each other so much that they stopped working hard. The Emperor became mad at them and separated them by the Milky Way, but allowed them to meet once a year on the night of July 7th.  

これは七夕、つまりStar Festivalの飾りです。日本の人々は7月7日に七夕を祝います。この祭りは、織姫(ベガ)と彦星(アルタイル)の二つの星にまつわる中国の伝説を起源としています。この伝説によると、恋人同士の機織り娘の織姫と牛飼いの彦星は、恋愛に夢中になり過ぎて仕事をろくにしなくなりました。これに腹を立てた天帝によって、二人は銀河をへだてて引き離されてしまいますが、後に一年に一度7月7日の夜にだけ会うことを許されました。  

 

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For Tanabata, Japanese people decorate bamboo branches with strips of colorful papers and ornaments to celebrate the reunion of the two stars. As you can see in the picture above, wishes and hopes are written on the strips (Sorry, those are written in Japanese!). It is said that these wishes and hopes come true. They are full of variety, from personal wishes like “I wish to be happy and rich” to comparatively bigger hopes like “Peace for all over the world!”

七夕では、人々は竹の枝に色とりどりの短冊や飾りを取り付けて、織姫と彦星の再会を祝います。上の写真に見られるように、人々は短冊に願い事を書き込みます(残念ながら日本語で書かれていますので悪しからず)。短冊に書いた願いはかなうと言われています。願い事は「幸せになりたい」「お金持ちになりたい」という個人的なものから、「世界中が平和でありますように」などのスケールの大きなものまで様々です。  

 

Have a happy Tanabata Day!

ぜひ七夕の祭りをお楽しみください!

11059566_10206380329483763_4417771184057227564_nTaken by Elizabeth Ishiyama

 

Yoko Kawakami
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A cat lover who admires the power of humor. Also an organizer of an international karaoke club in Tokyo. Enjoy karaoke together at the Meetup group “Enjoy Karaoke Together“!!!

 

*Proofread by Daniel Penso
*Produced by Chieko Tanaka (My Eyes Tokyo)

 

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