Tanabata Festival

10 August 2014

Festival Gardens hosted the Tanabata Festival

 

This exciting event Tanabata, or the Star Festival, took place on Saturday 12th July from 10am to 3pm. The Japan garden was alive with Japanese cultural activities including Calligraphy, Origami, making paper ornaments, Tanzaku and were joined by the Liverpool Astronomical Society.

Tanabata is usually held on the evening of 7 July throughout Japan. The festival traces its origins to a romantic legend that the Cowherd Star (Altair) and Weaver Star (Vega), lovers separated by the Milky Way, are allowed to meet just once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month.

People, especially children, write their wishes such as “I want to become good at football” or “I want to become an astronaut” on narrow strips of coloured paper called tanzaku and hang them, along with other paper ornaments, on bamboo branches placed in the backyards or entrances of their homes.

 

They then pray hard in the hope that their wishes will come true. Towns and cities in Japan take on a festive mood during the Tanabata season, with colourful decorations.