Tanabata: The Wish Festival

Tanabata is a popular celebration in Japan which is, in modern times, held on the the first weekend of July. Also known as wish festival, Tanabata is derived from the Chinese star festival, Qi Xi (七夕 “The Night of Sevens”).

It celebrates the meeting of Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair). According to legend, the Milky Way, a river made from stars that crosses the sky, separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. The celebration is held at night.Wikipedia

Around the first week of July, festivals are held in many places in Japan. Streets are are decorated with colorful paper streamers and lanterns.

In Japan, people write their wishes on narrow strips of paper and hang them on trees or bamboo branches placed in the backyards or in the streets where the festival is on.

Below are some of the wishes people write on the colored paper strips.
“I want to be happy.”,
… “I want to be rich.”,
“I want to be good in tennis…”,
… “We wish to be forever in love with each other.”

All the photos were taken at the Tanabata Festival in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa.

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  1. Joe

    Nice picts ! I wonder what camera do u use ?

    Posted July 6, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
  2. @Joe: Hello Joe! I use Nikon D700 with 50mm f/1.4G. Thanks for dropping by.

    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink
  3. Randy Yu

    This is great Jess.. beautiful shots.

    My wish.. “I want to be stress-free.”

    Posted July 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink
  4. Nice, love the variety of colors in the shots. The kid riding on his pops shoulders is the one I like best.

    Posted July 7, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  5. @Randy Yu: Thanks Bong. Hope your wish will come true. ^_^

    Posted July 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink
  6. @Floating Camera: Thank you very much. Appreciate your nice comment. :-)

    Posted July 9, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink