Japanese Events and Holidays in July

July 7th: Tanabata (Star Festival)

Tanabata is known as the Star Festival and it is held July 7th. Tanabata is an event that originated from the legend of a married couple represented by two stars Vega (Orihime) and Altair (Hikoboshi). Once upon a time, Orihime was a weaver and Hikoboshi was a serious cowherd, but they loved each other so much that they quit their jobs. When the God of Heaven learned of this, the God  became angry and separated them by the Milky Way so that they could meet only once a year on July 7th. If it rains on Tanabata, Hikoboshi and Orihime will not be able to meet, so people pray for clear skies on Tanabata.

Japanese people write wishes on the paper strips called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches on Tanabata. It is said that the wishes of tanzaku will come true. Tanabata festivals are held all over Japan every year.

Third Monday in July: Umi no Hi (Marine Day)

The third Monday in July is a national holiday, Marine Day. It is a day to appreciate the benefits of the sea and to pray for the prosperity of Japan as a maritime country.