A week ago a calendar reminder popped up saying “7/7 Tanabata”, so I dug out the few decorations we have and on Saturday set to work on making paper chains. After almost three years back in the UK I still make a concerted effort to keep our connection to Japan alive as I don’t want Little Miss to forget where she was born and the country we all love dearly, so it is a great excuse to enjoy the festivals and traditions we adopted whilst there.
Tanabata (七夕 or たなばた) sometimes referred to as the Star Festival is primarily celebrated on 7th July in Japan and is a festival that originates from the Chinese Qixi Festival.
When I first moved out to Japan I lived in the next city along from Hiratsuka which is famous for 3-4 days of Tanabata celebrations. The streets are decorated in ginormous decorations and lined with street stalls selling food, drinks and festival regalia. Of course there is also the chance to write your wish and tie it onto bamboo in the hope that it will come true. In the folktale that the festival is based on two young lovers were separated by the milky way by their parents and if it wasn’t raining on 7th July they could meet each other, hence the tradition of making a wish as they always wished for fine weather.
Obviously our home version of Tanabata festivities is rather scaled down, I enlist the help of Little Miss to make some decorations and decorate our overgrown bamboo (luckily the gardener isn’t due until next week), we each make a wish and my OH lights the BBQ…
In true Japanese spirit we also opened a bottle of Shochu to make some orange sours…
Obviously Little Miss had a mocktail version!
As I’m a day late posting, I hope any wishes you may have made over the last couple of days come true.