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Tanabata

Get ready to make your wishes come true on Tanabata - the Japanese star festival that celebrates love and hope!
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When it is?
July 7
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Category
Cultural
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Country
Japan
Creator
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Founded
Introduction

Get ready to celebrate the Japanese festival of Tanabata on July 7! This colorful and joyful holiday has been celebrated for over 2,000 years and originated from a Chinese love story. According to legend, two star-crossed lovers, represented by the stars Vega and Altair, were only allowed to meet once a year on this special day. People in Japan and other parts of Asia celebrate this occasion by writing wishes on strips of paper and hanging them on bamboo branches. It's the perfect time to make your own wishes come true and celebrate the power of love!

History of Tanabata

Tanabata Dates

Tanabata Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>755</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Introduction to Japan</div><div class='timeline-text'>Emperor Kōken introduced the Tanabata festival to Japan after learning about the Chinese Qixi Festival.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1603</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Grows Under Shoguns</div><div class='timeline-text'>Under the Tokugawa Shogunate, common people began celebrating Tanabata, expanding the festival's reach.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1800s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Expansion to Other Asian Countries</div><div class='timeline-text'>Other countries in Asia started adopting Tanabata customs, launching festivals of their own.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1921</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Sendai Tanabata Festival</div><div class='timeline-text'>Sendai city in Miyagi Prefecture launched its first official Tanabata Festival, which became one of the largest celebrations of Tanabata in Japan.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2000s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Tanabata in Digital Age</div><div class='timeline-text'>With the proliferation of social media, Tanabata celebrations expanded globally as people across the world joined in via online platforms.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Tanabata

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Make your own Tanabata decorations</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Get creative and make your own decorations for Tanabata. You can use origami paper to make beautiful paper cranes, stars, and other traditional Tanabata decorations.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a local Tanabata festival</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Check your local community calendar for any Tanabata festivals happening in your area. Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of this Japanese holiday.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Write and hang wishes on a bamboo tree</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>In Japan, it is tradition to write wishes on small strips of paper and hang them on a bamboo tree during Tanabata. You can create your own bamboo tree and invite friends and family to write their wishes and hang them together.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Dress up in traditional Japanese attire</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Celebrate Tanabata by dressing up in beautiful traditional Japanese clothing such as a yukata or kimono. You can even have a small fashion show with your friends and family to showcase your outfits.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Make and enjoy traditional Tanabata food</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Research and try your hand at making traditional Tanabata food such as somen noodles or yakitori skewers. Don't forget to share your dishes with loved ones and make a wish before digging in!</p></div></div>

Why We Love Tanabata

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a celebration of love and romance</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival in Japan, is based on a beautiful legend of two lovers - Orihime and Hikoboshi - who are separated by the Milky Way and can only meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. This holiday is a perfect opportunity to celebrate and express your love for that special someone in your life.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a chance to make wishes and set intentions</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>On this day, people write their wishes or intentions on colorful pieces of paper called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches. It's believed that these wishes will come true if they are pure of heart. So whether it's for luck, success, or love, Tanabata allows us to focus our energy and put our hopes into tangible form.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a celebration of creativity and craftsmanship</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>During Tanabata, decorations are made using colorful paper, origami, and bamboo grass. There are also various parades, events, and performances showcasing traditional Japanese arts and crafts. This holiday is not only a time to celebrate love and make wishes but also to appreciate and honor the beautiful culture and skills of Japan.</p></div></div>

Uncovering 5 Fascinating Facts About Tanabata

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Tanabata is believed to have originated in a Chinese legend</h3><p class='facts-content'>The tale originates from the Chinese story of Niulang and Zhinü, translated to Hikoboshi and Orihime in Japan. This illustrates Tanabata's cultural fluidity and shared Asian heritage.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>In some regions, Tanabata is celebrated in August, not July</h3><p class='facts-content'>Although Tanabata is typically recognized on July 7, some regions in Japan celebrate it on August 7. This is due to differences between the solar and lunar calendars.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Japan's space exploration activities are related to Tanabata</h3><p class='facts-content'>Owing to its stellar connections, Japan's space explorations often coincide with Tanabata. Notably, Japan's Hayabusa asteroid sample return mission was launched around Tanabata in 2003.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Each color paper used during Tanabata holds a unique meaning</h3><p class='facts-content'>The tanzaku, or paper strips, used during Tanabata differ in color and each holds different significance. For example, pink signifies love and romance, while green indicates fertility.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Writing on both sides of the tanzaku is considered bad luck</h3><p class='facts-content'>As per tradition, wishes are written only on one side of the tanzaku. Writing on both sides is considered inauspicious as it's believed to dishonor the gods.</p></div></div>

Tanabata FAQs

When is Tanabata?

Tanabata is celebrated on July 7 every year. In 2024 Tanabata will occur on a Sunday.

Tanabata Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Jul 7

Friday

2024

Jul 7

Sunday

2025

Jul 7

Monday

2026

Jul 7

Tuesday

2027

Jul 7

Wednesday

Cultural Holidays