Monday, August 6, 2012

tanabata festival

It's festival season here in Japan, and my first was the Misawa Tanabata Festival, or Star Festival. The holiday is typically celebrated on July 7, though the city usually holds its festival the last weekend in July. The main street in town is filled with colorful floats, and there are vendors everywhere selling basically any kind of street food, drink, or object you can imagine. The meaning behind the festivities is a little confusing (as different sources say different things), but you can read about one version here

There were a number of people wearing traditional Japanese clothing. I had no idea that kimonos come in so many shapes and sizes!

Both the main street and side street had vendors to your heart's content, but the major attractions were the floats.

Some of them had neat details, like paper rings and origami cranes.

We had 3 kiddos with us since we were babysitting for friends and, by far, the most important float of the night was one the girls helped create:

Floats weren't the only things to see as there were things like goldfish, large and small, rhinoceros beetles, animal-shaped balloons, and pretty paper lanterns among other things.

The kids were a little tired after a decent amount of walking (and Hubs struck fear into their hearts by saying we had to walk 4 miles), so we stopped by the plaza to see what was happening. The younger two were super excited about the moon bounce and could not wait to go in it.

This would be a shaved ice eating contest that was pretty hilarious. The kids started eating the ice, then after about a minute or so, the parents had to take over. A Japanese dad won but an American mom was a very close second.

And, in what I suppose is typical Tanabata fashion, there were plenty of wishes hanging from trees. These look like some good ones.


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  1. That seems like a great festival, any way! Hi there, I love your blog, I'm a new follower it's super cute. Stop on by the ATW and check out my blog

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Crissy!


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