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Tanabata Festival in the Seattle Arboretum….. Guest blogger – Penny Peters

July 14, 2016

The Tanabata Festival occurs yearly in Seattle, Washington.  Put it on your calendar for next year about this time if you should visit in 2017. This blog was written after Penny visited it in 2015.  There are many beautiful designs in the Garden. These photos will help you to think cool thoughts in the hot weather we are having this week.   Gail

Today the Japanese Tea Garden in the Arboretum in Seattle celebrated the Tanabata Festival (aka Star Festival), introduced in Japan in the 8th Century.  It is based on the Chinese legend of the Weaving Princess Star (Vega). Orihime, the 7th daughter of the Celestial Emperor Ten-Kou lived on the east bank of the Heavenly River (Milky Way).  She had the divine responsibility of weaving the royal cloth of the gods.  Orihimi fell in love with Kengyu who lived on the opposite bank of the Heavenly River.  They married and spent so much time together that Orihime neglected her weaving and Kengyu allowed his livestock to stray and become frail.  So Ten Kou ordered that they be separated again by the Heavenly River.  They were allowed to meet only one day a year on Tanabata, provided that they worked hard.  Otherwise Ten Kou would flood the Heavenly River with Rain, causing the couple to wait another year to meet.

In Japan Tanabata is celebrated exuberantly.  In the Seattle Japanese Tea Garden it was celebrated with origami folding and calligraphy lessons and quiet walks through the lovely, serene garden complete with soft traditional Japanese music gently filling the air.  Penny Peters

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2016 10:23 pm

    What lovely gardens, I love the water lily photo!

  2. Barbara Fox permalink
    July 15, 2016 2:22 am

    Beautiful, serene gardens. Those buds? or flowers caught my eye. They look like of drop of light green. Thanks for the lovely photos, Penny.

  3. Penny Peters permalink
    July 15, 2016 7:20 pm

    Thank you! I am looking for an answer to the name of the shrub. Hope to be able to let you know shortly.

  4. Penny Peters permalink
    July 16, 2016 12:48 am

    Okay, The seed pods are from the plant Styrax Japonica (Japanese Snowbell Tree)– a lovely small tree that has white star-shape drooping flowers in profusion, followed by those neat little seed pods. This from my knowledgeable horticulturist daughter!

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