Every year on July 7th through out Japan people celebrate Tanabata, the festival of stars. On ‘the night of 7′s’ parks are adorned with giant lanterns and decorations, people eat together, enjoy music and dance, play games, and write their wishes on paper then tie them to bamboo trees in hopes that their wishes will come true.
Legend has it that there once was a princess that was a great textiles weaver. She worked very hard, spinning her cloth, she was a star that we know of as Vega. She fell in love with the Shepard who lived across the river we know as the Milky Way, he was a star that we know as Altair. Both of the hard working star lovers stopped working and spent all of their time together, much to the disdain of the princess’ father. He cursed the young lovers and forbid them from seeing each other. Well, separating lovers is not in the best interest of the universe, so naturally, the hard working princess was so heart broken that she couldn’t spin anymore. Her strict father realized that the punishment was too harsh, as parents sometimes go overboard for the best interest of their children, and granted the lovers one day a year to come together, if the conditions were ripe. That day would be 07.07. So on this day, the underlying theme is lovers being able to come together, cause for celebration indeed.
Some Japanese also use Tanabata as a day to wish for more skill. Wishing for more skill appeals to me, we don’t need a larger flat screen, a newer car, more clothes, we could all use a little more skill. Learning what our ancestors did as we evolved as a society then applying that to our modern lifestyle really appeals to me. So today I am focusing on what skills I want to develop, and celebrating my son that was born on 07.07. To me Tanabata celebrates his birth which has certainly brightened my life.
I am wishing that all obstacles, inner and outer, be dissolved, so that lovers everywhere can have the opportunity to cross the river and be together, to join the strongest force in the Universe. What are you wishing for?