Tanabata originated from a romantic legend about two lover stars that are only able to meet each other once a year. Festivals are held across Japan on July 7 or around August 7. Children look forward to this special day as a sign that summer has truly arrived.
It's said that your wishes will come true if you write them down on strips of paper called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches. At kindergartens, elementary schools, and children's centers, children celebrate Tanabata by hanging tanzaku with their wishes - such as "I want to become good at football" or "I want to pass my exams" - and by singing Tanabata songs.
Towns and cities take on a festive mood during the Tanabata season. As well as areas where famous festivals attract many tourists, local shopping districts are also decked out with colorful decorations. At places like science museums and planetariums, special events and concerts based on the Tanabata legend are held.