Star Festival

Once upon a time, two stars – Vega and Altair – fell in love. After Vega and Altair married, they neglected their duties. This made Vega’s father – the king of the heavens – angry. He sent Altair to live far away in a place known as the Heavenly River. He said the two could see each other only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh moon.

When this day came, poor Vega could not cross the Heavenly River. A flock of magpies took pity on her. They spread their wings to make a bridge, and Vega ran across the bridge to reach Altair.

According to this tale, Vega and Altair continue to meet this way. But if it rains on this day, the magpies cannot make a bridge. Then Vega and Altair must wait another year.

The Japanese people love this story. They call the seventh day of the seventh moon the Star Festival.

People in the city of Sendai, Japan, celebrate this festival from August 6 to 8. They decorate streets and bamboo branches with colourful paper blossoms and figures. These figures are offerings to Vega and Altair and are meant to bring good luck.

Picture Credit : Google