Tanabata Dreamin’

Tanabata, or the Japanese Star Festival, in by far my favorite Japanese tradition. The day is celebrated in a variety of manner, but the highlight (for me) is the writing of wishes on strips of paper (or Tanzaku) and trying them to Bamboo trees so that they’ll come true. This year, I’ve sworn to observe this tradition in that way.

I don’t have a bamboo plant yet, though my friend Mary says she’ll get me one for my upcoming birthday (which just happens to occur before this year’s true Tanabata date on August 19). My one request though is that I don’t want “fancy” bamboo, as she has a plant of her own that has the bamboo weaved together intricately. I’m a simple guy, and so I want simple bamboo: just straight shoots if possible. In addition, I just discovered today at work (not 20 minutes ago) that the building across the street has a whole room filled with bamboo, in what I assume is a “zen” theme. The traditional date of Tanabata in Japan (or at least when most festivals occur) is July 7, otherwise known as tomorrow. Since I am currently lacking a plant to celebrate on this day, I’m very tempted to run over there after work and tie a wish to one of the bamboo branches, even if they are fake.

I already know what my wish will be. I think I may write it down right now so I don’t forget.