Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tanabata Matsuri

This big Japanese festival is, like many other great occasions, an excuse to party outdoors, snack and beer it up at street stalls, and take in festive sights. The holiday is based on an ancient Chinese festival called "Qi Xi.." It's a traditional lover's holiday linked to a star-crossed legend of two mythical lovers who, thanks to cruel fate, can only meet once per year.

Asagaya (a district in central Tokyo) is well known as the place to be in the city during the festival. Elsewhere in Japan, Sendai is also famous for its Tanabata festivities.

Paper mache models suspended high in the air are trademarks of the holiday.

 More after the jump:

Really nice one!

It's both commercial AND cultural! Sacre bleu!

 Another staple of the holiday are bamboo trees decorated with colorful streamers.
You can see bits of paper suspended from the branches. On them are written people's hopes and well wishes.

Asagaya is hardcore Tanabata. In the main shopping arcade are permanent (but usually covered) slots for the trees!

Lots of games and fun stuff for the kiddies.
The 300 yen mystery box stall was doing monster business.
Next we have the food! Lots to sample, and even a few things for vegetarians. (but not the next pic lol)

nama biru!

Fightin the good fight - it's the organic grocer's stall! ^_^

Here's what I had. :p
 Finally, you can see some people dressed in their Tanabata best.

Celebrate good times...Tana!

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