Have you ever heard of the Tanabata Festival?
According to the Japanese calendar, a day when a traditional annual event is held upon the change of the season is called a Sekku in Japanese. Among these many annual events, there are five particular seasonal festivals of great importance. Held annually on the 7th July, the Tanabata Festival is one of these five great festivals.
A fusion of the Chinese tale of Qixi and “The Festival to Plead to Skills”, with the Japanese indigenous legend of Tanabatatsume and Pre-Obon purification customs, the Tanabata has evolved into the festival that we know and love today. In this post, I will tell the story of the tale of Qixi.
Once upon a time, a cattle herder named Hikoboshi was arranged to meet with the seamstress, Princess Orihime, as instructed by her father, the God of the Heavens. The two quickly fell in love and soon got married.
However, their love became so deep that the couple became inseparable. The pair completely disregarded their work and spent their days frolicking together. Infuriated by their lack of responsibility, the God of the Heavens forbade the couple from seeing one another, separating them on opposite sides of the Milky Way. However, this only made the pair become so love-stricken for their estranged beloved that they still continued to neglect their work.
The God of the Heavens, in an effort to get the pair to return to their duties, decreed that the couple could reunite for just once a year on the Tanabata night. From there on out, Princess Orihime spent her days feverishly weaving the finest clothes, eagerly awaiting the day that she would be able to meet her true love once again. Similarly, Hikoboshi worked strenuously to rear his cattle. And then finally, on that Tanabata night, Princess Orihime rode across the Milky Way on the wings of a magpie and was at last, the pair was reunited.
I will talk more about the Tanabata Festival in the second part of this thread!
Until next time!
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