Miyagi, Japan Oct. 04 Wed 8:02PM
The Star-Crossed Lovers' Festival- Sendai Style
In Japan, Tanabata is a celebration of two lovers- Orihime and Hikoboshi- who are separated by the Milky Way, but are allowed to meet each year on July 7th.
In Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, the festival is held in August in accordance with the lunar calendar, which was used in Japan until the Meiji Restoration. Although the festival is celebrated all over Japan, Sendai's festival is the biggest- bamboo and paper decorations are put up all over the city, but especially around the Sendai Station area. Also in the Sendai celebration of Tanabata are the Seven Ornaments, which are paper ornaments that represent different prayers. The decorations are: paper strips with handwritten wishes, each different to the writer, a kimono for good health, a crane for longevity, a purse for wealth, a net for a good harvest and a good catch in fishing, and a trashbag for cleanliness.
The festival has a history of over 400 years, and has been celebrated in the city since the 16th century, but only became so grandiose in the 20th century. There are events all over the city during the festival, including streets with food stalls, fireworks, parades, and concerts.