Thursday, July 6, 2017

Paper Lanterns

If the paper lanterns are going up in Tenmonkan, it can only mean one thing - we're getting close to Rokugatsu-tou, the annual festival honoring one of Kagoshima's more important feudal-era lords, Nariakira Shimdazu.

At least it gives me more light to walk by when I return home from the school at night.

Nearby, we also have the Tanabata decorations.

Tanabata is the "Star Festival", which commemorates a Chinese story about the two lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi (the two stars, Vega and Altair) destined to be separated by the Milky Way, except for one night a year when they're permitted to meet for a brief time. Generally, the date is July 7, but it varies from prefecture to prefecture. The main custom is for lovers to write a wish on a piece of paper and hang it on a bamboo branch, or float it down a river on a paper boat.

Around Tenmonkan, the main practice is to hang up paper chains and streamers.

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