Tanabata is a Japanese star festival. It’s celebrated on 7th July.Tanabata, the word itself means “evening of seventh”. It’s a festival celebrated in Japan on the meeting time of two deities. It’s from Chinese Qixi festival Tanabata got its origin.
Orihime and Hikoshobi are the two deities who are believed to meet on the Tanabata day. They are referred by two stars which are separated by Milky Way. Vega refers Orihime and Altair refers to Tanabata. There are many legends and stories in relation to this festival. Most popular among them refers it to the meeting of two lovers Orihime and Hikoshobi ones in a year are celebrated as Tanabata.
Tanabata 2003 Google Doodle released on this festival day we can see the picture of loving couples. Doodle design reflects the love and beauty of the day. It’s one of the sweetest doodle by Google. The love and happiness of those couple who meet after a long time is clearly figured out in the doodle symbolically by the inclusion of these cartoon pictures.
Tanabata Doodle has also included the picture of the Milky Way which separates those lovers and a picture of snow fallen night in it. All over Google Doodle shows out the picture of the popular belief which paved the way for Tanabata festival beautifully and symbolically.
July 7th is chose for the celebration of Tanabata in most places of Japan. But some places in Japan celebrate this festival on 7th of August. There are many beliefs behind the celebration of this day. It is believed that the Empress Kokhen imported the idea of the celebration of Tanabata in the year 755. In this early period itself it had got great prominence among Japanese people. By the 18th and 19thcentury many customs and tradition got birth for the celebration of this festival in a grand way. Now in Japan the Tanabata festival day is a national holiday.
Legends on Tanabata
One of the legends behind Tanabata is related to a Chinese story “the princesses and the cowherd. Story tells that Tentei, the sky king had a daughter named Orihime. She was very good in weaving beautiful clothes. She used to weave clothes by sitting on the banks of the heavenly river, Milky Way. She weaved and gave her father beautiful clothes. But the king was afraid about her heartfelt dedication for her work.
King though that she will not have anyone to love. So he made her meet Hikobhoshi. They fell in love and soon got married. After her marriage she didn’t wove clothes for her father and at the same time Hikobhosi send his cows to stray all around heaven. This maid the king angry and forbade them in meeting each other.
Orihime cried and pleaded to her father to make the together and at last King allowed her to meet her love ones in a year if she completes her weaving works. This day was on the 7th of 7th month. It’s believed that on this day a flock of Magpies come and make a bridge over Milky Way to make them meet each other. It’s also believed that if it rains on this day they can’t meet each other and they have to wait till next year for meeting.
The Japanese people organize grand function on this day for celebration. Writing wishes on small papers and hanging them on bamboos are the common custom that is seen on this day. Streets, shopping malls and houses are decorated beautifully on this festival day. Sentai Tanabata Festival is the most and best celebration occurs related to Tanabata. As in all year Japanese people celebrated the festival in the year 2003 also in grand way.