Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tanabata Festival and Hanabi

Posted Aug. 12th
Written Aug. 9th
Happened Aug. 1-7 

Tanabata (sp? I probably butchered that, but it's how it sounds to me) is a star festival.  I beleive it is origninally a Chinese celbration in which a prince (represented by one star) gets to cross over and meet with the princess (represented by another star)  one night of the year.  Sadly, if it rains they do not get to meet that year.  In Japan it is usually celbrated in early July, in Takaoka however, the festival was the 1-7th of Aug. so I got here just in time.  To celebrate it children write their wishes onto decorations that are hung on bamboo trees.  There were also several firework displays in the prefecture, food stands, a stage with musicians, and I'm sure many other events I missed.  Here are a couple photos of the decorations in the night.

In addition to going to see the decorations in town I also went to hanabi (fireworks) twice during the last week.  Once in Toyama city and once in Takaoka city.  This was quite similar to how they are done for the music in Plymouth around the forth back home.  A huge group gathers, there is music (hearing supercalifagilisticexpialodoshis in Japanese was awesome), and there is lots of festival food.    I had Karage (some sort of fried chicken), an Octopus ball, A shaved Ice (those seem quite popular even at restaurants and things) and a chocolate and sprinkle covered banana.

P.S.  I know I've been dreadful about posting, but when I have my own internet set up in my apartment I will be better about it (this may not be for another month yet, it's impossible to say at this point).  I also will add more pictures then because I know how on my own computer, and it is a struggle on one where I can not read the options.   

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