Japan Australia Pages

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tanabata Star Festival

Tanabata (七夕), also known as the “Star Festival” takes place every year on the 7th day of the 7th month here in Japan. In Japanese, Tanabata (七夕) means; 七 = seventh 夕= evening, or evening of the seventh. The Japanese festival originates from Chinese legend, and celebrates the meeting of the two stars, Altair and Vega. According to the legend, the Milky Way, a river of 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 month of the lunisolar calendar. It is a fabulous story!

The date of Tanabata varies depending on the region of Japan and is usually held at either July 7th or August 7th. The celebration is held at night and colourful Tanabata Festivals are held across Japan. One of the biggest and most famous is the Tanabata Festivals of Hiratsuka near Tokyo in July and Sendai in August.

A popular Tanabata custom in Japan is to write wishes on small pieces of coloured paper (tanzaku) and hang them on a specially decorated bamboo trees or branches in hope that the wish will come true. The bamboo trees or branches are usually placed in the backyard or entrances of houses and are set afloat on a river or burned after the festival, around midnight or on the next day.

Tanzaku ~ small pieces of coloured paper with wishes on them

Google Japan even joined in the Tanabata celebrations

This year to celebrate Tanabata we enjoyed some Japanese snacks called Koala no March, which released a limited edition Tanabata version.

Lotte Koala no March ~ Tanabata version
Featuring different Tanabata Koala's
Special Tanabata edition packaging
The koala's all lined up to be eaten on Tanabata


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lina, Happy Tanabata to you, too :) Hope you had a great day!

  2. Aww, I love those koalas!
    I didn't know there was a special Tanabata version. It's so cute! ^___^

    Happy (belated) Tanabata to you! :D

    1. Thanks ZJ, Happy Tanabata to you as well :)

      For this expat Aussie got to be Koala no March for Tanabata! Hope you had a great day :)

  3. The Lotte Koala snacks are really cute!

    This year Tanabata passed me by. Ah well. Next stop, Obon!

    1. Thanks Ru, We didn't do too much either as I had to travel to Omihachiman for work. Already looking forward to Obon and maybe Gujo Bon-Odori?


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