Tanabata – Star Festival

The 7th day of the 7th month is Tanabata in Japan. The one night in the year that  the two lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshsi, separated by the milky way are permitted to meet. People mark the day by writing wishes on colourful paper, tanzaku. When in Japan, my two daughters spent the days leading up to Tanabata making paper decorations and writing wishes to hang on bamboo.



On that night we would have star themed meals,  star carrots in chirashi-zushi (scattered sushi) or last year the farm shop in Ayabe Tokusankan was selling star and heart shaped cucumbers! We created a huge salad with a grated carrot milky way, and lots of cucumber stars.



This year being back in the UK, I didn’t have the usual reminder of hanging tanzaku leading up to the entrance of the kindergarten. It was my daughter who happen to ask the day before “wasn’t Tanabata coming up soon?”.

We are still not back in our house nor unpacked our belongings so we had a make-do celebration that evening. When she came home from school we wrote down our wishes and she strung them up on a nearby tree. We had chirashi-zushi for supper, unfortunately without any stars or hearts, but still a Japanese meal to mark the day.


3 thoughts on “Tanabata – Star Festival

  1. What a lovely post…I missed it this year because we had house quests for the entire month (minus a few end days)….I’ve never done any special dishes but this gives me an idea for next year. When my granddaughter was here last summer we had such fun decorating a bamboo branch! She got very good at making origami.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh- I also wanted to say….thinking of you not being here…..I’ve never met you in person but honestly my heart feels a bit sad every-time I read your blog because you love Japan and aren’t able to live here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your lovely words. I do miss Japan but we’ll be back to visit and I am sure that I’ll be back living there someday – maybe like you, when our kids have grown up!


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