Tanabata Tales July 07 2010

Another Japanese tradition that uses paper! July 7th is when the Tanabata or the Star Festival ocurrs in Japan. This event is based on a Chinese legend, in which, Kengyuu (the star Alter) meets Orihime (the star Vega) only once a year on this day over the Milky Way. People celebrate the legend by putting up big branches of bamboo with colorful decorations in their homes or out in public places. They write a wish or prayer on a strip of paper and hang it from a green bamboo branch. Many cities, such as Sendai and Hiratsuka, also celebrate this event by rigging up huge green bamboo branches in the main streets, and then hang elaborate paper decorations from them, which causes them to bow low to the ground. See photo above. Here's a sweet, hand-printed Tanabata image on Japanese kozo paper,... of course!