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Tanabata, the Stars Festival

Posted by Esther Molina Lozano on

July 7th is Tanabata in Japan. This is the Stars Festival, where we write wishes in paper strips called "tanzaku" and hang them in bamboo branches, together with other beautiful paper decorations.

The Tanabata legend tells that Orihime, daughter of Tentei, the sky god, was a princess who wove fabrics for the gods' clothing. She always worked hard and made gorgeous fabrics, so her father was very proud of her.

One day, her father thought it would be good for her daughter to marry a good man. So he decided to introduce her to Hikoboshi, a responsible shepherd who worked taking care of the cows. When Orihime and Hikoboshi first saw each other they fell in love instantly.


The two young lovers began to spend their days together, from morning to night, doing nothing else but enjoying their company and neglecting their work. The cows that Hikoboshi cared for became hungry and sick, and the gods' clothes began to fray. Tentei warned them that they should resume their respective jobs, but the couple ignored him, and so the time passed, until Hikoboshi's cows starved and the gods were left without clothes to wear.

Tentei, furious at the couple's terrible irresponsibility, punished them by separating them, placing each one on one side of the Amanogawa River, so that they could no longer spend time together and take up their duties again.

Orihime and Hikoboshi, deeply saddened by their separation, but acknowledging their guilt, returned to their daily tasks. Orihime continued to weave the fabrics for the gods' clothing, while she wept day and night, missing her love.

Finally, her father softened, saddened by the inexhaustible tears of her daughter and decided to grant her the wish to see Hikoboshi again. "If you both work diligently and do your jobs, I will allow you to meet once a year, every July 7th," said Tentei to his daughter.

The two lovers worked hard and their wish was fulfilled. On July 7th, Tentei made that some birds form a bridge over the Amanogawa River, allowing the couple to cross it and meet. Orihime and Hikoboshi never forgot the lesson.

Orihime represents the Vega star and Hikoboshi the Altair star. The Amanogawa River represents the Milky Way. This is why Tanabata is also the Stars Festival and we make wishes to those stars.

On clear summer nights it can be easy to distinguish these two stars, separated by the Milky Way, closer than on the rest of the year. But, if the night of Tanabata rains it means that Orihime and Hikoboshi have not worked enough and that is why they will not be able to meet that year...

This is my favorite Japanese festival of the whole year. It has a very special meaning for me. Also, sometimes we are far away from the people we love, maybe a friend, maybe a family member or maybe our very special one. Tanabata reminds us that, if we work diligently, we can have hope and meet that person again.

Wanderlust by T.S.L wants to meet with all its lovers in this special occasion, so we are pleased to offer free shipping for all the orders over 20.000 JPY placed from July 7th to 11th, Japan time.

Love,

Wanderlust by T.S.L Team


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