Hi everyone, how are you today?

I myself is writing this article taking a break with a cup of tea and a piece of yogurt cake with raspberry source. (I made this source during weekend because a plenty of raspberries were taken from our garden!)raspberry

Today is the 7th of July, the day of TANABATA Festival (Japanese star festival).

TANABATA means “the evening of the 7th” and is a festival to celebrate the meeting allowed only once a year for a young Japanese couple: “KENGYU (aka HIKOBOSHI)” and his wife “ORIHIME”, how romantic, isn’t it?

orihime to kengyuAccording to a legend, this couple was separated into each side of the Milky Way by the father of ORIHIME because they didn’t work well after getting married. (They used to be very diligent as a cowherd and a weaver)

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By the way, you can actually see this couple in the sky of Japanese summer nights as the stars Altair and Vega.
Altair (KENGYU) is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila (the Eagle) and Vega (ORIHIME) is the brightest start in the constellation Lyra (The Harp).

bata kazariWhen this time of year comes around, Japanese children write their wishes on strips of paper and hang them on bamboo trees, along with colorful decorations.

I also used to be doing it with my sister and father singing the famous TANABATA song:
“Sasano ha sara sara, nokiba ni yureru, ohoshisama kirakira, kingin sunago.”
(Bamboo leaves are rustling in the wind under the eaves, the stars are twinkling in the sky like gold and silver sands.)

At that time, it was easy to find bamboo trees sold in flower shops around the TANABATA Festival even in the city, but it is rare now a days.
Here in Tochigi prefecture with a lot of nature, it is easy to get it because wild bamboo trees grow on the premises of a private house.

In this festival, people dress up in the simple KIMONO called “YUKATA”.
yukata ladyYUKATA is a cotton KIMONO with colorful patterns such as gold fish or flowers for children, and for adults, it is largely white and blue with the Indigo Dyeing so-called “Japan Blue”.
I will talk more about YUKATA later on in the KIMONO Colum, so don’t miss it!