2012 Tanabata at School

July 7th is Tanabata in Japan.  It marks the day when two stars are at their closest, yet never meet.  From the astronomical phenomena, stories and tales have developed around the pair, telling that they are lovers ever divided.

While there is no official holiday, Tanabata is a fun day that many groups take advantage of for bbq and other get togethers. Most school staffs usually plan a Tanabata party of some kind or another to mark the event.

As Western children might wish on a shooting star, Japanese children make wishes for Tanabata.  Each student at my elementary schools wrote out their wishes on paper cards, then hung them on bamboo branches outside their classroom.

 

 

 

All our students also got a special dessert this week.  On Thursday they got Tanabata jelly, a grape jello with two star-shaped fruit pieces in a star-shaped cup.  The two fruits represent the actual stars in the July night sky.  One was pear, the other pineapple.

 

What did you wish for this year?