Tanabata and Happy Birthday to me

19:45

Today is my birthday (yay me!), but one thing I really love about my birthday is that it falls on Tanabata, which is a festival celebrated in Japan (as well as some other places).

On Tanabata, people write their wishes on strips of paper and hang them on bamboo sticks. The story of Tanabata is as follows:

Orihime (織姫 Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei (天帝 Sky King, or the universe itself), wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (天の川 Milky Way, lit. "heavenly river"). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi (彦星 Cow Herder Star) (also referred to as Kengyuu (牽牛)) who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter’s tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime 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. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet.

My son had to make his wish for his daycare centre. After some chats and describing what a wish is, he decided that his wish was to fly on a plane (more specifically an ANA plane, to America). I also wrote a wish as part of my Japanese class at work.



Tanabata wishes outside my Japanese classroom


New watch bling for my birthday

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