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TANABATA Festival in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture

Tanabata is one of@Japanese traditional summer festivals and the most pleasant events for all of children too. It is currently observed on July 7 or in some local areas on August 7.

China had the legend that Kengyu-Sei (the star Altair, personified as a cowherd) and Shokujo-Sei (the star Vega, as a weaving girl) split apart by two banks of the River of Heaven (the Milky Way) on the other days of the year met just once a year at this night and also the traditional custom that people prayed to improve their arts and crafts for@two Stars.

In Japan, the event of the TANABATA in which an innocent girl wove cloths for God at the loom on the wooden shelf by a waterfront had been carried out since long ago.

Tanabata has been said to be a combination of the event peculiar to Japan and these Chinese traditions brought to Japan. Tanabata originally carried out among the court nobility become popular among the people at large in the Edo Period (1603`1867).

In a home, children as well as adults write their wishes or poems on strips of poetry paper of five different colors and hang them with paper decorations on pieces of bamboo and then put them out in the garden with an offering of food. Also, young girls pray that their handicraft will become as proficient as Vegafs was supposed to be. These are attractive enough to be called summer Christmas trees. The Tanabata bamboo used to be thrown into a river to reach up to the Milky Way after the Festival.

In recent years, Tanabata is commercially carried out by adorning the shopping street arcades with the Tanabata brilliant decorations only on a large scale.  Cities like Sendai (Miyagi Pref.) and Hiratuska (Kanagawa Pref.) especially are famous for attracting many visitors by these Tanabata decorations though these are seen at the shopping streets in Funabashi City.
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