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Dublin-based Japan-America Society of Central Ohio (JASCO) and Dublin Arts Council have partnered to encourage community members to experience Tanabata, the “star festival” which takes place on July 7, the seventh day of the seventh month. Originating from Chinese legend, star-crossed lovers, the deities of Orihime and Hikoboshi, are represented by the stars Altair and Vega. The pair are usually separated from one another by the Milky Way galaxy, and are only able to meet once per year on this day.

When Tanabata observances began in Japan, aristocrats in the imperial court would celebrate by writing verses as they gazed up at the stars. During this period, a tradition of writing wishes on small pieces of colored paper, or “tanzaku,” and hanging them from branches of bamboo appeared. Bamboo is thought to have become part of the tradition for its propensity to grow straight and tall, with upward-stretching branches bearing wishes to heaven on the wind.

Bamboo branches will be affixed to Dublin Arts Council’s ARTboxes throughout Dublin on July 2, with biodegradable tags placed inside for members of the community to add their wishes. Festival-related origami project instructions and supplies will also be available in the boxes. The branches will remain until July 9. ARTboxes location information can be found here.

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