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開かれた神社

2017年 7月 1日(土)

■ Giant Bamboo Grass Tunnel for Tanabata (English)

<<Giant Bamboo Grass Tunnel for Tanabata>>

Tanabata is a familiar tradition for Japanese people as they celebrate it from a young age. There are different opinions about the origin of Tanabata, but the most widely held one is the legend of Amanogawa (the Milky Way).

 

<Legend of Amanogawa>

Long long time ago, there was a princess called Orihime, a good weaver, and a young cow herder called Hikoboshi. One day they met each other and immediately fell in love. Soon they got married and lived happily together. However because they cared so much about each other that they stopped working. A god of the heavens was furious with them, and created Amanogawa, a big sky river, between them. The seperated couple worked really hard and eventually the god allowed them to see eachother once a year on the 7th of July. If you look to the eastern sky on a night around July 7th, you can actually find particularly bright stars. In Western astrology,Orihime is called Vega of Lyra, and Hikboshi is called Altair of Aquila.

In Japan, bamboo grass has been used in religious rituals from the ancient time, because it has a strong vitality and has been believed to have a power to ward off evil things.

Nowadays, people write their wishes for the year on a small piece of paper called Tanzaku on July 7th, and hang them on bamboo grass.

At Tanashi Jinja, a giant tunnel made of bamboo grass and trees from late June till mid-July. Colorful wind-bells and those Tanzaku with people’s wishes are hung on bamboo grass, so please enjoy walking through this beautigully colored tunnel.

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