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【英語】”Tanabata” : 「七夕」

 

“Tanabata”, originated from an old Chinese star festival, was introduced to Japan in the 8th century.  It celebrates the annual rendezvous of the Herdsman Star (Altair) and the Weaver Star (Vega), symbolized as a couple of lovers. The legend says, the two are usually separated by the Milky Way, and are allowed to meet only once a year on July 7, or the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. Some areas of Japan celebrate “Tanabata” on August 7, since this is closer to the seventh day of the seventh month of the traditional lunar calendar.

 

「七夕」は、中国から8世紀に日本に伝えられました。恋人どうしにみたてられた牛飼い(アルタイル)と織姫(ベガ)を祝ったお祭りで、ふだん天の川により離れはなれの二人が、年に一度だけ7月7日の夜に会うことを許されると言伝えられています。地域によっては、旧暦の7月7日により近い、8月7日にお祝いされています。

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It has become a custom on this evening to offer vegetables and fruits of the season to the stars, and to write one’s wishes on a narrow strip of colored paper and hang it on on a bamboo branch together with other paper ornaments. The decorated bamboo branch is placed in the backyard or entrance of the house.

「七夕」の夜には、季節の野菜や果物を星にお供えし、短冊に願いを書いて他の紙の飾りつけと一緒に笹の枝につるすのが習慣になりました。飾り付けられた笹は庭や玄関に備えます。

 

It is believed that if you wrote wishes on strips of paper and offered them to the stars, those wishes will come true and also you would acquire good hand writing skills. Other ornaments has special meanings each representing wishes such as good weaver and thread skills, good harvest, long lives, etc.

願いを短冊に書いて星に供えると、願いがかない、字が上手になると信じられてきました。他の飾りつけもそれぞれ、裁縫の腕の向上、豊作、長生きなどの願いを表しています。

Today, colorful Tanabata festivals are held across Japan in early July and August. The ones held in Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) and Hiratsuka (Kanagawa Prefecture) are one of the most famous festivals, for their elaborate Tanabata displays, attracting millions of people during the period.

今日では、7月や8月の始めになると、全国多くの場所で色鮮やかな七夕祭りが開かれています。中でも仙台や平塚の祭りはその大がかりな飾りつけで有名で、期間中の訪問者は数百万人にのぼります。

 

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Please visit one of the festivals, if you had a chance!!   Please explore our “Japan Cool” page to learn more about  the heart and essence of Japan and its culture.

 

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