Once a year on the 7th of July the Princess WeaverMaiden Orihime is allowed to meet the CowHerder BoyStar Hikoboshi in the milky way Heaven River. Orihime’s father initially forbade the two lovers from meeting at all because he thought they were spending too much time with each other and away from their duties. This Japanese legend marks the start of the Tanabata Star Festival that originates from the Chinese Qixi Festival, which also celebrates this day that the lovers get to meet.
If you’re lucky enough to have dark skies, look out for the twinkling stars across the milky way to see the lovers’ reunion. Then wish for something as they did in the Heian Courts, like better weaving and craftsmanship for girls and better penmanship for boys (chuckle). For the rest of us in cloudy cities, we can still make a wish. Here’s hoping we’ll all soon be reunited with loved ones post-pandemic – here in England, possibly when all restrictions are lifted on the 12th of July.
Happy Tanabata Star Festival!