Make a Wish upon a Tanabata Tree


Ayako Egawa wrote to me this morning about the Star Festival in Japan.  Here’s what she wrote.

It is Star festival, "Tanabata" today. I remember you told about this tradition in your daughter’s class. I saw a beautiful Tanabata display at the entrance of a building. I’d love to show the photo of the display to you! (See above.)

Pieces of fancy paper are prepared near the tree so that anyone can
write his or her wish on the paper and put it on the bamboo tree. I think this is a wonderful idea that is available for everybody!

May people’s wishes come true!


Ayako had told us about this festival in the past.  You can read all about it in a previous post about Tanabata that includes a song that’s sung for Tanabata.  I had told my daughter’s class about how Japanese people make a wish upon a Tanabata tree and the class made a tree so all the kids could make wishes.  What a wonderful tradition! Thanks for sharing Ayako.

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 at 10:39 am and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Customs and Traditions, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Japan, Japanese, Languages, Tanabata, Tanabata Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Make a Wish upon a Tanabata Tree”

  1. Linda R Dunn Says:

    My very good friend, Tonny Van Damm Moller-Knudsen is 87 this year. She would love to remember the words to a favorite Dutch or Danish children’s song with the words: ” I stand as a bee by my box until I fly out of my jacket” Any ideas what it might be? Thanks very much. Linda R. Dunn

  2. oswald chan Says:


    Thanks Lisa and Ayako for telling us the Star Festival in Japan. Last year a Japanese friend also asked me where to buy a bamboo tree for this Festival for her daughter. Actually in Hong Kong when I was a boy, all families are celebrating this festival in a very quiet, romantic manner. The day is on the 7th day of July of the Lunar Caleneder. On this day, you can actually see the two very bright stars on each side of the Milky way (The Galazy?). In Hong Kong we called this Festival “The birthday of the 7th Sister – 七姐誕” and named the stars 牛郎,嬂女 which means a boy who keeps a cow and a girl who does the weaving. They can only meet once a year. During this night the girls normally allowed to stay through midnight to see these two stars to meet and make their wish (normally for a good boy friend). They also placed on the table things to offer to the ‘weaving girl’ and the ‘cow boy’ (e.g. for girls – face powder, old type of Chinese lotion, fruits ..). All boys are not allowed to take part. This festival is coming soon, but not too many families celeberate now. I am glad that the Japanese is keeping this tradition-
    (They are celebrating it on the Western Calender, not the Lunar one which I think is more appropriate, you can see the weaving girl and the cow boy then in the sky).


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