02 Jul Sekku Part 3: Star Festival / Tanabata and Eel eating day!
Last Modified on July 2nd, 2021 at 08:28 pm
Category: Japanese Culture, Seasonal, Social & Culture
…The rainy season continues as we enter July!
We have 2 topics to cover for this article–
On the 7th of July is one of the Gosekku (五節句 / 5 annual ceremonies)
… “TANABATA MATSURI!”
Also known as Star Festival.
We will let you look up its meaning and origins, so we can focus on explaining what you will witness in Tokyo!
Children will write their wishes on a piece of paper called “Tanzaku”, tie it to a stalk of bamboo with leaves, and make their wishes to the heavens. Back in the day, it was only performed by higher-class people, but later this activity became a popular tradition during the Edo period.
People wish not only for their own prosperity but for their town’s prosperity as well.
The atmosphere is similar to the song by Disney, “When you wish upon a star”.
Try and take part to the festival and your dreams may just come true!! 🙂
Traditionally, people eat SOMEN (そうめん) during the festival. Tanoshindekudasai! (Have fun!)
There is another important tradition in Tokyo during July.
It is called “Doyo-no Ushi-no hi“
This day consists of eating grilled eel (UNAGI)!
This year (article posted in July 2021) it will be on July 27th, so you will start to see eel being promoted around the city. The idea is to get some GENKI! (cheerful positive energy) from the eel’s grease during the hot summer, but it is also mainly just delicious– so make sure to give it a try!!
The Olympics will be conducted in Tokyo this July in the midst of the pandemic. Prooobably.
So anyway this July:
1) make your wishes to the stars!
2) eat some delicious eel!
3) stay genki!