Tanabata (Star Festival)

Tanabata, also is called as the “star festival”, is a Japanese summer festival held every July 7th. During Tanabata, people write their wishes on brightly colored strips of paper called “tanzaku” and hang them from bamboo branches to have them granted.

The culture of the Tanabata festival was originated in China and made its way into Japan between the years of 710 – 794. At this time, the Tanabata festival was originally only observed within the imperial family.
Later in Japan’s history, Tanabata, as it is known today, came to be a mixture of both Japanese and Chinese traditions.

One of the main customs of Tanabata is writing one’s wish on a tanzaku (短冊), a colorful paper strip, and hanging it from a bamboo branch. This practice began during the Edo period. In those days, it is said that many wished for better penmanship or craftsmanship.

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