The Japanese festival Tanabata Matsuri
In Japanese traditions are always very vividly manifested a sense of beauty that has evolved over many centuries and evolved over time into a kind of cult of the worship of beauty. Aesthetic experience of nature is reflected in the conduct of traditional celebrations and festivals dedicated to the trees, flowers, birds, wind, moon or stars. One of such beautiful holidays is the Festival of Tanabata, which for centuries has enjoyed continued popularity among all segments of the Japanese population.
The tale of the seventh evening
The Tanabata festival is not one of public holidays in Japan, is not a public holiday, but with all the summer festivities he’s most beloved and long-awaited in the land of the rising sun. The name of the festival Tanabata in Japanese translates as “seventh evening” . indicating the date of its holding: the seventh evening of the seventh month, i.e., July 7. Along with this name for the festival is entrenched and more romantic name – Hoshi Matsuri ( Star Festival ), as the basis for the storyline of the holiday was a beautiful tale are two of the star VEGA (constellation Lyra) and Altair (in the constellation Aquila).
Simple story fairytale “love story” found in the folklore of many Asian countries, was based on an ancient Chinese legend. In Japan, the tale is complemented by local beliefs, therefore, in different parts of the country have their own versions of this legend. The most common is a tale, a story about eternal love Princess Orihime (VEGA) and Bootes Hikobosi (Altair). On the king’s daughter was serious and responsible burden – hide heavenly brocade (clouds), while Bootes followed the herd of cows on the banks of a beautiful river (the milky way).
Having met each other, the young people plunged into the maelstrom of love with his head and gave up his job, which caused serious anger Tenko, heavenly king! It was in his power to separate the lovers forever separated by a huge river, but taking pity on bitter tears of inconsolable daughter, the king allowed them to see each other. However, meeting the Princess of Bootes and happens only once a year on July 7, when the stars VEGA and Altair are on the horizon as close as possible to each other.
Customs Tanabata Matsuri
Star Festival in its usual manifestation became a national holiday in the early 17th century, when the masses began to settle down traditions and ceremonies of the festival “the Petition of mastery”, celebrated at the Imperial court and in the circle of the Palace nobility several centuries. Later romantic legend of the star of love was the basis of incredibly beautiful Tanabata festival with fireworks, parades, festive decoration of city streets.
But the customs of the festival dedicated to the arts, also were not forgotten, Princess Orihime, the patron of various arts, traditionally asked of inspiration in the arts of sewing, weaving (for girls) and drawing, calligraphy (for boys). The modern Japanese are also preparing for the day of the celebration of the Tanabata Festival special paper petitions – tansaku . on which they write their wishes (often in verse form). Tanzaku manifest itself long and thin strips of different colors, which are attached to bamboo branches, exhibited everywhere near doors and gates.
Originally decorated with bamboo shoots were established on the banks of rivers, canals and other water bodies, mindful of the celestial river that divides the couple. But, over time, can decorate houses and public institutions, which often leave a clean tanzaku and writing utensils for everyone to create their own petition Orihime or Hikobosi.
The most popular Festival of Tanabata is the romantic-minded Teens and students with special diligence preparing for the celebration. Area campuses during the period of the Festival just transformed: here and there on the trees hung tanzaku (sometimes in the shape of a heart), paper lanterns and talismans, constructed scenes for Amateur concerts, preparing trays with refreshments.
Its climax the Tanabata Festival reaches towards the evening when the skies lit up with fireworks, as if illuminating heavenly love way to each other. But thousands of earth girls and boys with bated breath waiting for that will be cherished desire, written in tanzaku, and they will gain one and only love!