Thursday, 10 July 2014

Tanabata 2014

What's Tanabata?

Tanabata is a festival celebrated in Japan on the 7th day of the 7th month (July). Although it originated from the Chinese Qixi Festival the way the festival is thought of and celebrated in each country is very different. The legend of the weaver and the cowherd, which inspires this day, tells the story of two lovers who can only meet on this day once a year if the weather is clear. The story varies between the countries and even between different regions in Japan.

The main traditions for tanabata are writing wishes on pieces of paper and hanging them, as well as various other symbolic decorations, onto bamboo trees.

Sourced from and

This is the Sweet Jam yukaka I own from
Angelic Pretty. I apologise for the poor
quality of the mirror shot.
This year I was hoping to wear my yukata and maybe visit Kamogawa, the river that runs through Kyoto. However, the weather was rather dismal so I had to change my plans. Instead I spent the morning designing a Lolita dress with the theme of Tanabata.

There were many ideas that came into my head including tanabata wish tree inspired designs and I would like to think more about the possibilities. However, the design I came up with was inspired by the accent designs popular in Moi Meme Moitie and chiffon, which I love and seems to be experiencing popularity in Lolita fashion at the moment.

A close up of the accent design featured on the dress.

The Mysterious Tanabata Miracle - part I

Just as I thought that the weaver and the cowherd were not going to be able to meet this year the weather cleared to reveal one of the most stunning sunsets I have seen since I arrived in Kyoto. I was so lucky to be able to capture the photographs that I did as I was on my way to work.

I was actually quite moved by the sunset and thought how glad the weaver and the cowherd would have been now that they could meet. I, however, was feeling a little depressed that I had to miss the Tanabata festival.

The Mysterious Tanabata Miracle - part II

Here's a photo from the website
of the illumination! 
While I was doing channelling my Google-fu for this post I came across the Kyo no Tanabata site to find that there's a week long festival held in Kyoto at the beginning of August! This means I can still participate in a Tanabata festival and wear my Angelic Pretty yukata. The excitement is endless.

So, in the end it seems like Tanabata 2014 has been a magical experience after all. Until next time...

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