Q & A
Q. Why are some Tanabata festivals held in July, and some in August?
A. Tanabata (七夕), meaning ‘Seven Evenings’, is a festival to celebrate the meeting of Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair), which happens once a year. These two lovers are separated by the Milky Way, a river of stars crossing the sky. The original Tanabata date was based on the Japanese lunisolar calendar, which is about a month behind the Gregorian one. As the meeting is said to take place on the seventh day of the seventh month, depending on the region in Japan, some festivals are held of the seventh of July, and some on the seventh of August. The festival is usually celebrated by writing wishes on strips of paper, and hanging them to bamboo. Yamaguchi’s Tanabata Lantern Festival will take place around Park Road in Yamaguchi City on the 6th and 7th of August.
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