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Tanabata: The Japanese Star Festival Essay

506 words - 3 pages

Tanabata- Japanese Star Festival Every country around the world had many different festivals and celebrations that out own. Japan has many different festivals each season based on the lunar calendar. One of the most celebrated festivals in Japan is a festival called Tanabata, which is also called the Star Festival.The first annual observance of summer is known as Tanabata, falling on July 7. It is a day that commemorates a romantic story, first handed down to Japan's imperial court via China and Korea and then becoming popular among the common people. The legend is of the Cowherd Star (Altair) and ...view middle of the document...

They then pray hard that their wishes will come true.The story of Altair and Vega is simple but has captured the respect and celebration of millions of Japanese people each year. This ancient Chinese/Japanese star festival celebrates two lovers kept apart by the celestial river, The Milky Way. Two stars, Vega and Altair, represent the lovers. Vega is the weaving goddess; Altair is a young ox herdsman. According to the legend, they fell in love, but then were forced to part because they neglected their duties by other god and goddess of the sky. However, they were permitted to meet once a year on "the 7th night of the 7th Moon". That is why this holiday is celebrated on the 7th day of July, which is the seventh month of the year.Today, Tanabata festivals are celebrated at numerous places around Japan. Some of the best-known celebrations take place at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto, the Konpira Shrine in Kagawa Prefecture, and in the cities of Hiratsuka in Kanagawa Prefecture and Takaoka in Toyama Prefecture. Also well known is the Sendai Tanabata festival in Miyagi Prefecture, which takes place a month later on August 7, since this is closer to the seventh day of the seventh month on the traditional lunar calendar.Each culture in the world has many traditions and celebrations of great interest based on the lunar calendar and legends. Tanabata is the most celebrated summer festival and shows an amazing part of the Japanese culture.

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