TANABATA - 7 July - What are your wishes?

Today, the 7th of July, is the romantic and creative Tanabata Festival, also known as the Star Festival in Japan.


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


Today is the day we send our wishes to the universe through our creative rituals. It's a time that is romantic, exciting, creative, and intimate.

We connect with nature, the seasons, and the universe.

Write your wishes on colorful paper (origami), which can be a poem (haiku), and decorate bamboo trees with your creations.


Go wild and embrace your wildest dreams.

Let your thoughts flow.

Let your dreams soar.

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



Tanabata Festival is one of the five traditional festivals that welcome the changing of the seasons with rituals of making offerings and wishing for a good harvest, health, prosperity, and happiness. This festival has been celebrated since ancient times, with records dating back to the Heian period in the 9th century.

Originating from China, Tanabata is centered around a romantic folk tale of two lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi, who can only meet once a year on the night of July 7th, as they cross 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 are my rituals at home.


Wishes in Origami and decoration. As I don't have a bamboo, I just put them in my little 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.