Monday, August 16, 2010

Japanese Tanabata Festival (Star Festival)

Last Sunday, me and my sis visited the The Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur, since my sis is joining Japanese language class we got the opportunities to visit the Japan Club for small celebration of Tanabata Festival. The Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur is very strict and its only allow member to enter Club House.

Japanese Tanabata Festival, it is related to Chinese star festival "Qixi". It's a celebration the meeting of  Orihime and Hikoboshi. 

During the celebration, they told us the story about Tanabata. Once there was a weaver princess named Orihime- daugther of the Sky King, she wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (Milky Way as known as Heaven River). The Sky King loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. Orihime was sad that she never meet and fall in love with anyone, the Sky King concern about his daugther and arrange her to meet Hikoboshi (Cow Herder Star) who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. Orihime and Hikiboshi fall in love at first sight, once they are together they had forget about their duty, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for the Sky King and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven.

The Sky King was mad, and he separated the two of them  across the Amanogawa and forbade them to see each other again. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her lover and begged her father to let them meet again.The Sky King was moved by his daughter’s tears and allowed them to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime cried sadly that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet.

Tanabata is a Japanese tradition wherein people write their wishes on Tanzaku papers (colorful, small strips of papers) and hang them on bamboo branches. People also decorate bamboo branches with various kinds of paper decorations and place them outside their houses. The most common Tanabata decorations are colorful streamers. Streamers are said to symbolize the weaving of threads. Other tanabata decorations are toami (casting net), which means good luck for fishing and farming and kinchaku (hand bag), which means wealth.

Me and my sis learned how to make the Wishing bamboo under the instructor guidance,

This is my Art work! =)

This is my sis art work!

My wish upon the bamboo tree

This Home Made Mochi is delicious! Strawberry~Yummy

The day ended with raining, but it was fun to learn about Tanabata Festival. I'm looking forward for their future event.

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