Tanabata (Qi xi (China),Chilseok (Corea))

Tanabata (七夕?, meaning “Evening of the seventh”) is a Japanese star festival, originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival.[1] It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively). According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. The date of Tanabata varies by region of the country, but the first festivities begin on July 7 of the Gregorian calendar. The celebration is held at various days between July and August.

Like Qixi and Chilseok, Tanabata was inspired by the famous Chinese folklore story, “The Princess and the Cowherd”. Some versions were included in the Man'yōshū, the oldest extant collection of Japanese poetry.

Orihime (織姫 Weaving Princess?), daughter of the Tentei (天帝 Sky King, or the universe itself?), wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa(天の川 Milky Way, lit. “heavenly river”?). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi (彦星 Cow Herder Star?) (also referred to as Kengyuu (牽牛?)) who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter’s tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet.

(The image belongs to the manhwa “Bride of the water god”)

a story I read when I was little.

the story of Chilseok in Korea.

Once upon a time, the heavenly king had a daughter, Jiknyeo, who was an excellent weaver. He set up an arranged marriage for Jiknyeo and Gyeonwu a farmer.  They got married and seriously fell in love, but abandoned their work.  The king, angry, ordered his daughter to come back to heaven and only allowed them to visit each other once a year on the seventh night of the seventh lunar month. On July 7th, the couple finally could see each other again, but there was the Milky Way between them and they couldn’t cross the barrier. Then, suddenly, tens and thousands of crows and magpies assembled to make a bridge(the bridge is called Ojakgyo) for the separated couple, and they eventually were able to spend a short amount of time together before saying good-bye. The story was originally from China. If it rains on July 7th, its said that the couple is crying when they seperate. In astrology, Altair, which is called the Star of the Cowherd, represents Gyeonwu, and the star Vega is called the Star of Jinknyeo in Korea.