Today is a special day in the dark night sky. And today is the day that, according to the eastern legend, Vega and Altair will meet again in order to share their love after a year of being separated.
The story explains that Orihime (Vega), who was the daughter of the god of heaven, spent her days weaving for her father. One day she met a shepherd (Hikoboshi) whith who she fell madly in love.
After a while they got married, but they gradually began to neglect their jobs. On one hand, Orihime stopped weaving and on the other, the bulls were Hikoboshi straggled through heaven, abandoned to their fate. Heaven’s god decided to punish them, turning them into stars separated by the celestial river, also called Amanogawa ( the Milky Way).
However, God wanted to be benevolent, and allowed them the opportunity to reunite again once a year, the seventh day of the seventh month, with the help of a flock of birds that are deposited on the river as a bridge. For this to happen, good weather and no rain are necessary. Moreover, the rising river and bad weather would preclude birds work and lovers should wait another year to see each other again.
This is what Tanabata Festival is about. During the festival, it is customary to hung bamboo branches on the streets, with hanging strips of different colors, where poems dedicated to Orihime and Hikoboshi are written. At this time of year, children sing “Tenko and nary” (sky clears, clears) to promote the reunion of lovers. It is said that if so, Vega and Altair shine with 5 different colors (the colors of the papers that are used to write poems before being thrown into the river or burned in bonfires.
There is also a popular song for this festival:
Bamboo leaves rustle,
swaying in the eaves.
The stars shine
in gold and silver grains of sand.
The strips of five colors
I have already written.
The stars shine,
They are looking down from the sky.
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“Myths and legends of Japan,” Landis F. Hadland
“Romance of the Milky Way” by Lafcadio Hearn
Note: Orihime and Hikoboshi called in different ways in the different versions of the story