TANABATA - 7 July - What are your wishes?


Today, the 7th of July is the day of the romantic creative TANABATA festival. It is known as star festival in Japan.


It is the day to celebrate the ancient folk tale of two lovers, Orihime(princes) and Hikoboshi (prince), who were separated by the Milkyway. They can only meet once a year, today, on the 7th July as the bridge appears in the evening sky...


Today is the day, we can send our wishes to the universe with our creative ritual...

It's romantic, exciting, creative, and intimate.

We connect to nature, season, and the universe. 


Write your wishes on nice coloured paper (origami), it can be a poem (Haiku) and decorate the bamboo trees with your own creation. 


Go wild and be with your wildest dream.

Let your thoughts out.

Let your dreams out.

Let your wishes seen by the shining stars in the fresh summer sky....




TANABATA festival is one of the five traditional festivals to welcome the change of the seasons with rituals of making offerings and wish for a good harvest, health, prosperity and happiness. It has been taking place since ancient time, recorded in the Heian period, the 9th century.


It originates from China. A romantic folk tale of lovers who can only meet once a year on the night of 7 July over the Milky Way.

傑作『月百姿』より「銀河月」(月岡芳年 画)
傑作『月百姿』より「銀河月」(月岡芳年 画)


Once upon a time, in the world of stars, there was a loving couple, Princess Orihime (the weaver, Vega) and Hikoboshi (the cowherd, Altair). As they were madly in love, they became less productive with their work and Princess's father Tentei (Kind of stars) got angry and separated them by the Milky Way. But they were allowed to meet once a year by the bridge made by magpies over the Milky Way on the 7th July.


If it is a clear day, we may perhaps see their encounter in the summer sky….





Photo by OiMax
Photo by OiMax


Here is a ritual accompanied by this folk tale.

In ancient Japan, the ladies were making an offering and write a wish to improve the skills for "weaving" on the 7th July, related to Shinto tradition.


Later the wishes were made for all kinds of skills to improve, and any other wishes in life and the wishes were written in the form of a poem on colored paper, called "Tanzaku".


In the evening of the 7th July, we wear Yukata, summer cotton kimono and enjoy the evening with the decorated bamboo trees with summer dishes such as ice cold Somen noodles.


Even in this modern Japan, we practice our ancient seasonal rituals and celebrate the seasonal event with festivals, rooted in the principle of Shinto and Buddhism, not as a religion, but as a philosophy of life. 


To create harmony within ourselves, with nature and with our surroundings is the unspoken law of Japanese society.


My wishes and poems....
My wishes and poems....

 My Tanabata here in Holland....


Here are my rituals at home which I just made.


Wishes in Origami and decoration. Ready to put them to the alter.


If you have read this article on time, I recommend that, Just before you go to bed, you could write down three wishes and place them by the window..... :-) 


Thank you for reading.