TANABATA: BACKGROUND• Japanese Star Festival• Originates from Chinese Qixi (七夕) Festival• 7th Day of the 7th month every year • Some festivals are held following the date on the lunar calendar, while others follow the Christian calendar • This year 7/7 on the Lunar calendar falls on the 24 th of August
TANABATA: BACKGROUND• Story! :D• Orihime = Daughter of Tentei• Tentei = 天帝, Sky King• Hikoboshi = 牽牛, Kengyuu or Cow Herder Star
TANABATA: BACKGROUND• Orihime -> weaves cloth that dad likes• Tentei -> likes cloth that Orihime weaves• But she worked so hard, she couldn’t meet anyone and fall in love, so the Tentei arranged for her to meet…
TANABATA: BACKGROUND• Hikoboshi: the cow herder
TANABATA: BACKGROUND• I know she doesn’t deserve him *Cough*and so the story goes on• They meet and fall in love, and get married shortly after• But… Orihime stopped weaving cloth for Tentei, and Hikoboshi stopped taking care of the cows
TANABATA: BACKGROUND• Imagine Heaven being covered with…• Important cow herders are important
TANABATA: BACKGROUND • Of course Tentei got pissed off • Don’t piss your dad off, esp if he’s the Sky King. :D
TANABATA: BACKGROUND• And so he decided to separate them across the Amanogawa (天の川, heavenly river, basically the Milky Way) and forbade them to meet• The fangirls go YESSSSSSSSSS• But Orihime became so despondent over the loss of her husband, she begged her father to let them see each other again
TANABATA: BACKGROUND• So the kind (?) Tentei allowed them to meet on the 7 th day of the 7 th month IF she worked hard and finished her weaving (and, presumably, if Hikoboshi takes care of his cows)• Apparently they did, and so they were allowed to meet…
TANABATA: BACKGROUND• …But the first time, they had no way to get across the Amanogawa• Orihime, being useless, cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river and meet her beloved• (I bet cows in heaven can fly, so why doesn’t Hikoboshi just set his cows loose… )
TANABATA: BACKGROUND• And so… they met.• YAY! <3 …or not• It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the lovers must wait until the next year to meet
THE SUMMER TRIANGLE• Orihime and Hikoboshi are represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively• Together with a 3 rd star Deneb, they form the Summer Triangle (….could the story have had another character!?) :D ->• …Okay, just kidding.• Aka 夏の大三角 Natsu no daisankaku
THE SUMMER TRIANGLE• The three stars are basically the brightest in their region• Lies overhead the mid-northern latitudes during the summer months but can also be seen in other seasons although only at different times.• Also known as the “navigator’s triangle” because it’s also used to navigate in the Pacific Ocean
Wish-writing• people commonly write poems and wishes on fancy strips of paper (tanzaku)• cut out brightly colored paper stars• decorate a bamboo stalk with these.• The next morning, the decorated stalks are customarily released into the ocean or into rivers and streams.
Tanabata song• Sasa no ha sara-sara / The bamboo leaves rustle,• Nokiba ni yureru / shaking away in the eaves.• Ohoshi-sama kira-kira / The stars twinkle• Kingin sunago / on the gold and silver grains of sand.• Goshiki no tanzaku / The five-colour paper strips• watashi ga kaita / I have already written.• Ohoshi-sama kirakira / The stars twinkle,• sora kara miteiru / they watch us from heaven.
Examples of tanabata celebrations• Well-known, large-scale celebrations of tanabata include :• the Sendai Tanabata matsuri, which began in an attempt to help revive the economy in the postwar years• the Aomori Nebuta festival, in which papier- mâché lanterns (tōrō) of varying sizes and shapes are carried around• Akitas Kantō festival, in which participants make their way through the streets carrying the eponymous kantō, a construct comprised of numerous paper lanterns balanced on tall bamboo poles.
What people do at tanabata celebrations • Celebrations vary by regions, but generally, parades along the streets, where people dance, sing and cheer • For the aomori nebuta festival, more than 30 nebuta floats participate each year – each takes up to a year to construct and some tower five meters above the street and are spun about by their handlers as they move along the parade route. • culminates on the final evening when a large toro, lantern, is floated out to sea, symbolically taking evil spirits with it, as large and colorful display of fireworkshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t3qo3ZkcNA&feature=topics light up the night sky.