knits by sachi

Tanabata Day

on July 7, 2014


Today is the Tanabata, (meaning “Evening of the seventh”). It is a Japanese star festival, originating from the Chinese festival. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively. Orihime is the princess, daughter of the Tentei meaning sky King, or the universe itself, and Hikoboshi is her love.

Orihime (meaning weaving princess) wove beautiful cloth for his father, and she worked very hard every day. But Orihime was lonely. Because of her hard work, she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi who lived and worked on the other side of the Milky way. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other. They were so in love and, the two started neglecting their duties. Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Milky way and forbade them to meet. He allowed them to meet only once a year on the 7th of July, which is today.
It is too harsh, I think. It is terrible to have the King of the universe as your Dad.

Before Tanabata, we write our wishes on strips of origami paper and hang them from bamboo branches along with other decorations.
You can read other people’s wishes and, sometimes, you find funny ones.

We also have festivals mainly along shopping malls and streets, which are decorated with large, colorful streamers. Some decorations are huge.


I used to love these festivals as a child. My parents used to take us in the evening, all dressed in summer kimono. There were many food stalls and toy shops. We also enjoy fireworks.

Happy Tanabata Day!
(I made these with my son when he was young. We just pasted paper on wooden figures you can buy at craft shops. It worked.)

4 responses to “Tanabata Day

  1. What Tentei did to Orihime and Hikoboshi feels harsh, alright, but I feel like those two have gotten used to it after multiple years of working hard, waiting for each other and meeting up once a year. Heh, my imagination’s forming story ideas yet again after reading about Tanabata and its origins, alright! ^_^

    • knitsbysachi says:

      Yes, at least they didn’t have to die like couples in other tragic love stories. We used to be able to see Milky way when I was small, but not these days.I haven’t seen Milky way for very very long time.

  2. wow, I am so pleased you have shared this post as I havent heard of this festival before and it looks truly beautiful 🙂

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