Tanabata 2013 Google Doodle with bamboo leaf to hang wishes

On Japanese star festival Tanabata 2013 Google came up with a beautiful doodle on the homepage of Japan. It’s the day on which two stars Altair and Vega meet is celebrated as Tanabata. In most of the places in Japan 7th of July is Tanabata, but in some other places like Hokkaido and Sendai August 7th is celebrated as Tanabata Festival.

Tanabata 2013 Google Doodle
Tanabata 2013 Google Doodle (July 7, 2013)

There are many stories related to Tanabata in Japan. The two stars Altair and Vega is believed to be the two deities Orihime and Hikoboshi. Legends say that Orihime and Hikoboshi were lovers lived near the bank of heavenly river milkyway and they will meet on 7th day of 7th month in a year. This day is celebrated as Tanabata.

In Tanabata 2013 Google Doodle  we can see bamboo leaf  were Japanese people hang their wish.There is a tradition of writing  wishes in tanzaku and hanging on long bamboo and floating it in river at the end of celebrations.

Every character is added in the doodle with a difference from the actual logo. All the characters are included in Tanabata 2013 Google Doodle as if its hanged in the bamboo reflecting  the common custom on Tanabata festival season.


As the day is celebrated for the reunion of lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi Japanese people follow several special customs for the celebration of the day. Tanabata decorations all along the streets and important places of Japan are very colorful.

According to most famous legend that is spread over Japan, Tanabata was celebrated during the meeting time of princess Orihime, daughter of sky king Tendei and Hikoboshi who were separated by a curse when king noticed that his daughter is not working to weave clothes for him after getting married to Hikoboshi. It was after seeing the tears of his daughter he gave the blessing to see Hikoboshi once in a year.

A flock of Magpies is believed to help them to cross the heavenly river every year and arrange their meeting. So Japanese people believe that if it rains on 7th July this lovers will wait for another year to meet as Magpies can’t make bridge for them to cross the river.

With this colorful doodle Google wished a very happy Tanabata to all Japanese people. The message and happiness of this festivaal is reflected in the Tanabata Google Doodle.