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Sendai's Love Story Festival

JAPAN | Friday, 8 August 2014 | Views [410]

Sendai Tanabata Festival

Sendai Tanabata Festival

The city of Sendai celebrates a love story each August. And everyone loves a good love story!

There seem to be various legends behind it but the one we were told by the Sendai tourist office was this:

According to Chinese legend, two stars, Altair and Vega, were once a princess and a cow-herd. The father of the princess was angry and cast the stars apart, separating them by the Milky Way. Their love for each other was too strong, and the princess cried so much, that magpies agreed to link their wings across the Milky Way once a year so the lovers could be together. 

As the lovers' wish came true, Tanabata is a time for making wishes. The colourful, intricate paper decorations in Sendai contain different "wishes", for example the strings of origami cranes are to wish for peace. They are hung from bamboo poles along the main streets and shopping malls, making a wonderful display. 

In Sendai and other cities, we also saw a lot of bamboo trees covered in small pieces of paper. These are wishes that people write, hang on the tree, and then at the end of these few days, are sent up in fire.

I am sending a wish to everyone reading this that your wishes also come true. And, having seen a snippet of world news, a prayer for peace.



Tags: japanese festival, sendai tanabata


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