TANABATA – WHEN WISHES COME TRUE

Sasa no ha sara sara

Nokiba ni yureru

Ohoshisama kira kira

Kingin sunago

Bamboo leaves are rustling,

Swaying at the eaves;

The stars are twinkling,

Like gold and silver sand.

 

Ah! One can almost picture the night sky with the wind softly brushing against bamboo plants. Sung in a melodious tune, Tanabata-sama, for that’s what it’s called, has become an intrinsic part of Japanese culture.

Tanabata, or Star Festival, is a much-awaited festival celebrated on the 7th of July every year. Legend has it that this day marks the reunion of two stars Vega (Orihime) and Altair (Hikoboshi). Orihime was the daughter of the Emperor of heaven, the celestial weaver. She and her husband, Hikoboshi, incurred the Emperor’s wrath due to negligence of duties, blissful in each other’s company. The enraged Emperor banished them to opposite ends of Amanogawa, the milky way. But, not wanting to be too harsh on his daughter, he allowed her to meet him once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar. It is also fabled that a flock of magpies form a bridge for the two to meet.

 

1
Crossing the bridge of Magpies

 

(source: www.dulichvietnam.com.vn)

 

The Chinese festival of Qixi is said to have been the source of Tanabata. Qixi festival is often considered the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day.

In Japan, parades are carried out with lots of cultural performances throughout the day. The most famous ones are those held in Sendai, Hiratsuka and Asagaya among other places. It is also celebrated in Korea, Taiwan, Brazil and the USA.

2
Sendai Tanabata Festival, 2012

(source: www.silverkris.com)

 

3
Mickey as Hikoboshi, and Minnie as Orihime at Tokyo Disneyland

 

(source: http://www.gettyimages.fi )

 

It is believed that on this day, all wishes will come true. Hence, people celebrate Tanabata by penning their wishes on colourful papers (called tanzaku ) and then hanging them from the branches of bamboo plants. Generally, people wish for successful careers, happiness, good harvests, achievement of yearly targets, etc. Also, there is a custom of decorating with Seven Ornaments, especially in Sendai. These ornaments consist, among others, of Tanzaku which indicates progress in studies and Orizuru (cranes) which are meant for longevity and well-being.

4
Wishes on strips of colourful papers hung from Bamboo branches

(source: https://sudy.co.hu/en/tanabata-2/)

 

So, what are you waiting for?

Type in your wishes below(in the comments)!

Psst, don’t be surprised if you see more flocks of birds than usual, in the sky!

*****

Written by

G. Anjanalakshmi

Member-Organizing Committee

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Brijen Mehta says:

    私は最後の息まて働くことがてきるように。

    Like

  2. Jevil Suvagiya says:

    I wish to have a good and satisfying job in my professional career after completing my Master in Business Administrations

    Like

  3. DEnnis michael says:

    I Wish to visit japan some day and communicate in only japanese language over there.

    Like

  4. Kuntal says:

    Greetings on TANABATA Festival…
    Considering this virtual platform as a ‘Tanzaku’ and hanging it to Bamboo branch – I wish to have a good health, satisfying job in my professional career and joyous year for me, my students, people around me, nation and globe. Arigatou

    Like

    1. nitinjust4u says:

      Your wish will come true……tathastu

      Like

  5. nitinjust4u says:

    I wish to take my mom for world tour. She is fond of different places and culture. I wish i would take her to all that places that she has mentioned in her diary.

    Like

  6. Smit says:

    I wish to be able to communicate in Japanese pretty fluently before i graduate.

    Like

  7. pranjuu14 says:

    I wish to go to Japan and spend my entire remaining life span reading manga, watching and developing anime, crushing on J-Dramas, eating ramen and living happily ever after in my awesome *future* house near Akihabara.

    Like

  8. Anonna says:

    I wish to be able to go to Japan as often as I want to! Hahahahha… I also wish for my students to excel in their learning and come to love Japan as much as I do 😉 I wish the club becomes a platform for realising the dreams of many such enthusiasts who regardless of age, background and culture keep pursuing what they love. God bless you all.

    Like

  9. B P Mali says:

    Be Happy & make everybody happy

    Like

  10. rupamajumdar says:

    I wish for a peaceful earth with joyful creatures before i close my chapter on the planet that includes my kids n dad !!! Let they b worth living as humans , serve other lives n leave d planet blissfully n happily…

    Like

  11. Gaku Azumai says:

    Wishing for happiness and healthy growth of India and people in India, especially in Gujarat. I would contribute as much as I can at work and in my private life as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Gaku Azumai 東井 学 says:

    インドの健全な発展と、インドの、とくにグジャラートの人々の幸福を祈念します。
    その実現のため、微力ながら業務において、かつ私生活においても、少しでも役に立てるよう頑張ります。

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 学さん、いつもお世話になっております。日本倶楽部の活動のサポートおよび、グジャラートの発展や異文化理解をいつも活発に応援して下さる学さんの姿を見ると感謝の気持ちでいっぱいです。学さんの全ての願いが叶えます様にお祈りしております。これからも、よろしくお願いいたします。

      Like

  13. I wish from the bottom my heart that my anonna touches the sky of her career, passion and dream. Lord let the eternal magpies bridge across her and her sky of dreams.
    I also wish my Addy becomes the most kindest of souls emanating his love for those who are needy and underprivileged.
    I wish my dad always remains healthy, happy, safe and crosses centuries of a highly valuable and treasured life for others on this planet.
    FOR ME ITS TO SEE ALL MY LOVED ONES ATTAIN THEIR GOALS AND FULFILL THEIR WISHES BEFORE I CLOSE MY EYES..

    Liked by 1 person

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