Wishes for the Star Festival


A decoration at one of my local train stations


Today is Tanabata here, the Star Festival, and a day for making wishes.Tanabata celebrates the story of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, lovers who are separated by the Milky Day and only able to meet once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month. These days, people celebrate it by writing their wishes on strips of paper and tying them to branches of bamboo that are set up Christmas-tree-style in schools, kindergartens, shopping malls and other public places like libraries. It’s mostly children who do this, though some adults partake as well.

Maybe you are like a former student of mine who wished he would actually become a dinosaur (did not apparently come true but hey, I haven’t seen him for awhile). Maybe you’re like Mr. K – his father interpreted his wish as “kyaaaaaaah” and his childcare carers interpreted it more politely as “I want to play all summer.” Maybe, like a lot of adults, your heartfelt wish is a bit more heart-wrenching than that.

Whatever it is you’re longing for today, you have my best wishes that you may get it. Happy Tanabata!


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