When talking about the activities in July, it must be the "Tanabata" on July 7th.
Prior to this, I have been introducing to you many ritual activities of Japan in different seasons which are originated from Chinese Culture, and, the Tanabata is also came from China. July 7th is one of gosekku too(※for gosekku, please refer to the articles in May, ← please paste the link here), this time I'd like to introduce to you the Japan’s Tanabata.
When talking about Tanabata, we have to tell you the famous story of Cowherd and Weaver Girl(Hikoboshi and Orihime).
It is believed that the Vega, whose scientific name is Lyra α, is in charge of weaving, while the Altair, whose scientific name is Aquila α,is in charge of farming, these two stars respectively represent the Weaver Girl and Cowherd. They worked diligently every day, but after falling in love, they began to neglect their work. Then the Tentei (Jade Emperor) could not stand it any longer and pulled them apart, and only allowed them to meet on July 7th.
Because these two stars, Vega and Altair, are appearing to be the brightest and shining on both ends of the Milky Way on the July 7th of Lunar Calendar, thus Chinese thought this must be the annual meeting of the loving couple, the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, which resulted in the story of Tanabata. In Japan,
people make a silent petition to God for "all wishes come true like Cowherd and Weaver Girl(Hikoboshi and Orihime)", and they will write various wishes and poems on colorful tannzaku and hung them on the bamboo in their own courtyard.
In addition, people also call the rain in July as "sairuiu".
It is said that the rain in July is the tears of Hikoboshi and Orihime who are so sad that they could not meet each other, and even cause swollen rivers to overflow, actually there are many differing opinions about that.
What did Yuko write on the tannzaku?
There are many places in Japan at which some ceremonies will be held during the day of Tanabata, so please be sure to visit them in the cool evening.