Friday, September 2, 2011

七夕祭り (Tanabata Festival)

“Tanabata” means the seventh evening of the seventh month.  Every year on this night, Orihime is allowed to meet her lover.  Read the whole story here

There are many Tanabata festivals held throughout Japan during the summer.  We attended the one in our town, 小川町 (Ogawa Machi) at the end of July. 

 Vendors lined the streets, selling all the regular festival foods: やきとり(yakitori)お好み焼き(okonomiyaki)たこやき(octopus balls)やきいか (barbequed squid)、きゅうり (cucumber)steamed potatoes loaded with butter, Turkish kebabs, pineapple on sticks, chocolate covered bananas on sticks, shaved ice, やきそば (Japanese fried noodles), etc.

We wandered about, eating and drinking along the way.  Taking photos.  Listening to taiko performances.  Running into friends.  One of Karl’s coworkers ran into us and invited us to sit down with her at the booth her husband was working at.  They insisted on giving us shaved ice, yakitori, and l-o-t-s of beer. 

One of the older Japanese fellows who kept pouring beer for us insisted that Karl take one of their group t-shirts.  He was also insisted I should have a baby by now.  He was also very drunk.  

We watched people dancing.  We saw a handmade paper demonstration.  And, of course, watched the fireworks.  

Before the fireworks finished, we walked back to our apartment where we found our neighbors all sitting outside eating and drinking.  They invited us to join them, so we sat down and ate more fair food and drank more beer.  

Even though I miss my favorite festivals from back home, Japanese festivals are proving to be an excellent substitute for the time being. 
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