Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tanabata Festival

Photobucket

Photobucket

Happy Tanabata Festival!

Today, July 7th marks my favourite Japanese festival – Tanabata! The decorations for this festival are just so pretty!

Tanabata originated more than 2,000 years ago with an old Chinese tale called Kikkoden. Once there was a weaver princess named Orihime and a cow herder prince named Hikoboshi living in space. After they got together, they were playing all the time and forgot about their jobs. The king was angry at them and separated them on opposite sides of the Amanogawa River (Milky Way). The king allowed them to meet only once a year on July 7th. This is why tanabata is also known as the star festival. It's believed that Orihime and Hikoboshi can't see each other if July 7th is rainy, so people pray for good weather and also make wishes for themselves.

Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) and Hiratsuka (Kanagawa Prefecture) are particularly famous for their elaborate Tanabata displays. Shopping arcades in these two cities feature huge decorations that are sponsored by local shops, which try to outdo one another in the size of their displays.


For more info please click here. I hope you might be inspired to make you own little origami paper decoration on this special day. And if so, you might like Origami Club!


Tonight Yumi-chan and I will attend a special Tanabata Festival Concert at the Conservatorium of Music organised by the Sydney Japan Foundation. To book tickets please click here.

Also, please check out Yumi-chan’s new blog Dear Plastic where she documents her no plastic challenge. Yumi recently posted about grocery store co-ops where you can re-fill your own containers rather than adding to landfill by purchasing items that come covered in packaging. This is something I was inspired to do when I saw No Impact Man movie with Lovely Liane. Here is Yumi's list of some Sydney co-ops to get you started. I can't wait to join one! But the best kept secret is that the Manly co-op on Yumi's list also sell fresh tofu, umeboshi and other Japanese essentials like mirin!

Enjoy lovelies!

Love Love
Hello Sandwich
xxx

12 comments:

  1. Wow, looks like so much fun! I've always thought our North American holidays were so blah, especially when I hear about a festival like this one! We need to celebrate more fairytales, I think.

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  2. We have a lot of Japanese festivals in Los Angeles but, I don't remember seeing paper streams like these. How fun!

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  3. oh, the start-crossed lovers! wow, that sounds like such a magical concert tonight - enjoy!

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  4. awww i remember having to do a project on tanabata in yr 8. i also really want to go a hina matsuri one day. that'd be awesome.
    have fun at the festival concert!

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  5. wow anpanman no tanabata!
    i wrote my wish and put it up on the bamboo the other day. Unlike every year, today is not raining so maybe HIKOBOSHI and OTOHIME can meet tonight over the milkyway yay ;)

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  6. Hello Amanda Nicole - yes we totally need to celebrate more fairytales! You are right!

    Hi Teri Rees Wang! It looks so pretty doesn't it! I have never seen a Tanabata festival in real life either! I can't wait to one day! :) Thank you for stopping by Hello Sandwich!

    Hello Fanmakimaki how are you? Yes I LOVE the legend! So sweet! xxx

    Ii-ne-kore-chan! It was such a beautiful concert! Wish you could have come with us! :)

    Hi A dreamer! Thank you for visiting Hello Sandwich! Thank you also for your comment! Cool you got to do a Tanabata project! So jealous! :)

    Hiki-san! Hello! Oh thats so gorgeous you put a wish on bamboo! :) I hope your wish comes true! I looked out my window at lunch and noticced that it was raining and then told my Art Director why I was sad and she replied that maybe it wasn't raining in Japan and Hikoboshi and Otohime could meet! :) So your comment made me so happy to hear about the good weather! yay!

    Love Love
    Hello Sandwich
    xxx

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  7. It looks like so much fun! in australia we have heaps of different kinds of cultural festivals but i haven't seen this one before...im jealous! the decorations are so pretty and the photos of gorgeous!

    x
    http://ateaspoonofsugarhelpsthemedicine.blogspot.com/

    ps i love your blog!

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  8. hi, good to see these photos!!!
    i almost forgot about it because tanabata is usually summer in japan...and i am spending my 1st tanabata in winter here...so these photos made me smile!!!
    kids love to make them and i even enjoyed to make them!!!!

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  9. Hello A teaspoon of sugar! Yes it looks like so much fun! I wish we had Tanabata here in Australia! Oh well! We will all have to move to Japan! xxx

    Hello Riyo! Oh yes it must be so nice and hot in Japan for Tanabata! I'm so happy you could enjoy the festive Tananbata feeling a little through Hello Sandwich!

    Love Love
    Hello Sandwich
    xxx

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  10. I'm glad we're having one in Los Angeles this year

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  11. I am so glad I came across your blog. We were able to make it and it was so beautiful (had a lot of food too)

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