Tuesday, July 7, 2009
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!