Jul 7, 2010

Tanabata at Tazawako Station

Today is July 7th -- a day of a Japanese traditional festival, Tanabata.

Tanabata Festival (七夕: lit., “The Seventh Evening”) derives from a romantic story, in which a separated couple, Princess Orihime (“Weaving Princes”) and Prince Hikoboshi, is said to try their luck to meet— on the 7th evening of 7th month—the only evening they are permitted to be reunited.

Princess Orihime symbolizes the star, Vega: Prince Hikoboshi symbolizes the star, Altair. The river that separates the couple is Amanogawa (天の川), literally meaning “River in the Heaven” — What we call in English, "the Milky Way”.

It is said that Orihime and Hikoboshi could meet only if the sky is clear, so that a flock of magpies could fly over and spread the wings to make a bridge over the River in the Heaven.

This story leads to our traditional custom, in which we write wishes on a piece of paper (“Tanzaku”) and hang on a bamboo tree.

Last week, local kindergarteners in Tazawako decorated JR Tazawako Station. They brought bamboo trees with tons of colorful tanzakus!

“I want to eat a lot and become strong.”
“I want to become a driver of Shinkansen Komachi .”
“I want to marry my father when I grow up.”
“I want to become a Curry Pan Man.”
“I want to become a Purikyua."
... Anime chacacters!

Such wishes-- achievable or not-- may all come true!

What is your wish?

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