I went to the Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival 2016 in Hiratsuka that is a city located in west of Tolyo.
Tanabata festival is as known the Star Festival. It’s one of typical Japanese festival and hold in various are in Japan. But, this one is the biggest in Japan. I’d never seen such a large scale Tanabata Festival.
Even if it was the biggest in Japan, I could see Japanese festival standards I expected. Street stalls are an icon of Japanese festival. When I was a kid, stalls in a festival were attractive for children. They sold unusual toys and foods. It was only chance for countryside children to get interesting something. Nowadays I can buy everything everywhere. So these stalls don’t sell unusual items. But they evoke nostalgia for the adults who come to a festival.
One of games we can play in a festival is Goldfish Scooping in which a player scoops goldfish with a paper scooper. Sometimes bouncy balls are used instead of goldfish. However I couldn’t find both of Goldfish Scooping and Bouncy Ball Scooping, but Small Toys Scooper. Anyway there is Something Scooper in Japanese traditional festival.
Tanabata is based on Chinise legend. According to the legend, the deities Hikoboshi (represented by the star Vega) and his wife Orihime (Altair) were separated by the Milky Way. But a bridge on the Milky Way emerge once a year and they can meet. This date is called Tanabata in Japan. In other words, we celeblate their meeting in the festival. I think the legend is fairly tragedy, but we enjoy the festivals by unusual stalls, games and parades.