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Kyono Tanabata / Star festival in Kyoto 2019: 京の七夕英語版

Contents

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Star festival in kyoto, or Tanabata

京の七夕 北野天満宮

In early August, star festivals (Tanabata in Japanese) are held in many places in Kyoto. In this article, let us learn what Tanabata is and Kyono Tanabata festival sites.

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What is Star festival, or Tanabata 七夕?

Gosekku 五節句

Star festival is one of Gosekku. Gosekku are the five ceremonies or kind of rituals held in the Imperial court. The word Gosekku is divided two words. “Go” and “Sekku.” “GO” stands for five in Japanese and “Sekku” means an end of a season. The traditional Japanese custom developed into Sekku with the ancient Chinese custom. There are many Sekku in the Imperial court and especially important Sekku are called Gosekku. Let me show you each of them.

Nanakusa no Sekku 7th Jan. 七草の節句(1月7日)

春の七草

It is also known as Jinjitsu no Sekku. We have rice gruel named Nanakusa gayu. Nanakusa gayu means “Gruel with Nanakusa.” Nanakusa means “seven vegetables.” The vegetables is believes that they give us good health for a year.

白馬総覧神事

In addition to it, if we saw a white horse on the day, it guarantees good luck of the year. The custom was held in the Imperial court and we can see it at Kamigamo shrine on the day.

Kamigamo shrine in Kyoto, Aoi matsuri, and its history 上賀茂神社 京都 英語
Kamigamo jinjya shrine is one of the oldest shrine in Kyoto. In this article, you can learn about Aoi matsuri, secrets of it, its history, Shinme horse etc. on many pictures and videos.

Mono no sekku 3rd Mar. 桃の節句

下鴨神社の流し雛市比賣神社のひと雛

It is also known as Johshi no Sekku. We display Hina dolls on a kind of altar and wish young ladies for their growth in good health. The dolls in the fist picture is called Nagashi bina dolls. Ladies put evil things they have into the dolls and let it go on a stream. They goes the ocean on behalf of the ladies. (In traditonal Japanes way of thinking, water get rid of anything evil inside of us.)

The second picture is “Human hina dolls” in Ichihime shrine.

Tngo no Sekku 5th May 端午の節句

菖蒲の節句

We wish young boys for their growth in good health. It is also known as Shobu no Sekku. Shobu is a plant in the second picture. It looks like sword and is believed dispel evil things. In traditonal Japanes way of thinking, sword conquers evil things. That is the reason why Naginata boko of Gion matsuri has a huge sword.

Gion matsuri festival in Kyoto 2019: The absolute guide. 祇園祭英語
The way to enjoy Gion matsuri festival. Its history, the rituals going with it, the Yamahoko parade. Itinerary , many photos and videos available.

Tanabata no Sekku 7th July 七夕の節句

おりひめパラソル

In the ancient times, Japanese people have a custom called Tanabata. In Tanabata, young ladies make kimono as a dedication to Shinto Deity and pray for rich cultivation and dispelling evil spirits.

On the other hand, there was a custom called Kikoten in ancient China. In Kikoden, people make an altar and put string, cloth, needle, and so on, on it to pray for improvement of handicraft to Vega.

In additon to it, ancient Chinese people believed Altair brought prosperity in agriculture.

京の七夕 天の川

They thought Vega and Altair meets on the 7th of July in the ancient Chinese lunar calender because these two stars shine so bright on the day.

These facts were put together and developed into Tanabana, or Star festival;

Vega and Altair meets each other on 7th of July (around 7th of August in Gregorian calender), and make wish upon these stars.

八坂神社の茅の輪

The custom to write wish on bamboo leaves was introduced in the Edo period. It is on bamboo decorated on Chinowa, the wreath get rid of evil sprits we have.

"Chinowa kuguri", 茅の輪くぐり, at Yasaka shrine
We find big wreath in many Shito shrines and Buddhist temples on June. It is Chinowa and we make "Chinowa Kuguri".

Kiku no Sekku 9th Sep. 菊の節句

嵯峨菊

In Omyodo, a traditinal Japanese philosophy in which we see the world in yin yang, odd number brings us good luck. We put a Chrysanthemum flower on a Sake cup and dirnk it and pray for good health.

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6 sites of Star festival 京の七夕会場

Any information on this article is subjet to be altered. Check Kyono tanabata official site in English.

Horikawa area 堀川エリア

Overview

 いちきしま ひめ
 いちきしま ひめ

In 2019, Horikawa area reduced and is not large as the last year’s.

Site: Along with the Horikawa stream (From Shimodachiuri st. to Ichjyo modoribashi bridge.)

One way from south to north

Dates: 10th ~12th August

Open Hours 18:00~21:00

Crowded? Not sure because Horikawa area is not large as the last year.

Time required 1 hour~

Illumination ライトアップ

Attention: The following photos, videos and information of Horikawa area are those of the last year.

七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

I suppose we have only torch illumination along the stream.

京の七夕 かがり火

たけちよ
たけちよ

Like this…

As the official site says, there are live performances but I’m not sure what they are so far.

2019

The entrance

京の七夕2019京の七夕2019

 いちきしま ひめ
 いちきしま ひめ

It’s tranquil this year.

京の七夕2019於堀川会場/Kyono Tanabata at Horikawa
たけちよ
たけちよ

しっぽり

Tramway

京の七夕2019ちんちん電車

七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

Kyoto municipal subway COME BACK SPECIAL

Pet bottle lanterns

京の七夕2019

Bamboo art

京の七夕2019京の七夕2019

Tanabata stage

京の七夕2019

Live performance 18:00~ 18:45~

Maiko San dance performance 19:35~ 20:30~

七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

With 300 jpy, we can take snapshots with Maiko-san!

The memory of the last year

The entrance

京の七夕

The entrance is indicated in the map as a light blue alien.

It takes at least 1 hour from the entrance to Ichijyo modori bashi bridge (The last exit). We stroll along the Horikawa stream from south to north. There are lots of exits along the stream.

 

The Milky way 光の天の川

京の七夕 光の天の川

At the blue alien in the map, there is a artificial Milky Way. The most popular spot in the Horikawa area. Usually crowded with many people.

Sorry, it doesn’t take place in 2019.

たけちよ
たけちよ

This was my favorite is Kyono tanabata. Enjoy the video, BAAH!

Yuzen nagashi 光の友禅流し

京の七夕 光の友禅流し京の七夕 光の友禅流し

Yuzen is a Japanese traditional dyeing technique especially for kimono fabrics. Artists paint pictures on a fabric and rinse it in a river. We call it Yuzen nagashi. The Horikawa stream used to be a river and Yuzen nagashi took place there in the days of old.

光の友禅流し光の友禅流し

Evey year, around the vermilion alien in the map, we can see extraordinary Yuzen fabrics. When lights are down, take picture of Yuzen. With strobe, the milky way appears (the second photo).

Lit dews 光のしずく

京の七夕 光のしずく京の七夕 光のしずく

Under the Marutamati bashi bridge (the red alien in the map), you can enjoy amazing mobiles in the fragrance of Japanese incense.

Well come back, the tram way! おかえりチンチン電車プロジェクト

チンチン電車おかえりチンチン電車

Street car used to run along the Horikawa river. Today, we can see a model runs.

Works of art 芸術作品

京の七夕 堀川会場京の七夕 堀川会場

The exhibition of art woks of University students.

京の七夕2018堀川

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

I miss them…

Access to Horikawa area 堀川エリアへのアクセス

The nearest station is Nijojo mae station of Kyoto city subway. We get off the subway at the station.

After the exit, go to Ichijo modoribashi/ Seimei jinjya mae bus stop. #9, or #12 bus are available.

Along with Horikawa street, there are other bus stops indicated in the map.

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