Orihime, daughter of the Tentei (天帝 Sky King, or the universe itself) wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (Milky Way). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter’s tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet.
Tanabata is a Japanese star festival that celebrates the meeting of 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 7 of the Gregorian calendar. The celebration is held at various days between July and August.
In present-day Japan, people generaly celebrate this day by writing wishes, sometimes in a form of poetry or tanzaku, small pieces of paper, and hanging them on bambo or other decorations. The bamboo and decorations are often set a float on the river or burned after the festival, around midnight or on the next day. This resembles the custom of floating paper ships and candles during Obon. Many area in Japan has their own Tanabata customs, which are mostly related to local Obon tradition. There is also traditional Tanabata song :Sasa no ha sara-sara
Nokiba ni yureru
Goshiki no tanzaku
watashi ga kaita
sora kara miteiru
Translation:The bamboo leaves rustle,
shaking away in the eaves.
The stars twinkle
on the gold and silver grains of sand.
The five-colour paper strips
I have already written.
The stars twinkle,
they watch us from heaven.
Tengu stared at a large bamboo tree growing near his house, many tanabata wishes already tied upon it. He fiddled with a piece of paper in his hands and sighed softly as he recalled his favorite holiday…looking down at the colorful piece of paper in his hand with the secret on it for all to see, he sighed a little and glanced back to the bamboo tree once more. Should he really post it up there? Or would it be way too obvious?
“…it’s already written. Might as well.” He hung his secret on the tree and stared at it…then walked away silently.