In Japan, July 7th is a special day. It is called “Tanabata”. Originally imported from China, this festival comes with a fairy tale: There are a prince and princess in the sky, sadly separated by the Milky way. (In Japan, the Milky way is called the river in the Heaven.) But only on the night of July 7th, they are able to see each other. If it rains on the night, it is believed that they missed the chance for the year.
What Japanese actually do for this festival is to write their wishes on a long and small piece of Origami (called Tanzaku), and hang them on a bamboo trees together with other Origami works. Most often an activity for young children, even adults may enjoy this occasion. Women usually wear Yukata (cotton kimono) for this occasion.
This year, by the suggestion of the Japanese Embassy in London, many gardens in the UK, especially Japanese gardens with bamboos trees, have celebrated or will celebrate this Tanabata festival. Local school children are asked to write their wishes on Tanzaku and hang them on bamboo trees in a Japanese garden.
Around Manchester also, school children near the Walkden Garden in Sale participated in this celebration, as the Walkden Garden has a beautiful Japanese garden in it.
The activity took place on July 8th, and I visited the garden later on the day.
It was a beautiful summer day, and I really enjoyed the sight of bamboo trees decorated in various colors of Origami pieces. Please take a look at the video now.