Tanabata

Category: Folk
Tanabata in Japan in 2025
Image: Tanabata Festival from Deposit Photos. Royalty Free

About Tanabata

How long until Tanabata?
Tanabata .
Dates of Tanabata
2025 Japan Monday, July 7thTanabata
2024 Japan Sunday, July 7thTanabata
2023 Japan Friday, July 7thTanabata
2022 Japan Thursday, July 7thTanabata
2021 Japan Wednesday, July 7thTanabata
Summary
Find out the dates, history and traditions of Tanabata.

Tanabata ("Evening of the seventh"), also known as the Star Festival, is a Japanese festival originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival.

It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively). According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar.

The date of Tanabata varies by region of the country, but the first festivities begin on July 7th in the Gregorian calendar. 

The festival was introduced to Japan by the Empress Kōken in 755.

 As an offering to the stars, children set up bamboo branches to which colorful strips of paper-bearing poems are tied.

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