At one of the spring meetings, the Quesnel Shiraoi Twining Society asked for suggestions for the group’s Billy Barker Days parade float this year. Some of our Japanese members came up with the idea for Tanabata. So Tanabata theme was chosen.
The Japanese legend of Tanabata, Star Festival originates about 2,000 years ago.
It occurs when the stars Altar and Vega, separated by the Milky Way, are aliened on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Lunisolar (Moon and Sun) calendar. This begins the legend .
Once there was a cloth princess named Orihime and a cow herder named Hikoboshi living in space.
They fell in love, married and spent their whole time together. They forgot about doing all their work of weaving cloth and herding cows.
Orihime’s father, the king, was angry they weren’t working. So he separated them on opposite sides of the Star River, which we call the Milky Way.
His daughter Orihime, cried and told her father of her wish to be with her husband.
The King didn’t like seeing his daughter cry, so he allowed them to meet, but only once a year on the 7th day of the 7th month, July 7.
Of course they wanted to see each other more often, but they couldn’t because the stars were set in the sky.
Today the custom is for people to write wishes and good will on a piece of paper to hang from bamboo trees in hopes the wishes will come true.
The float committee did a fantastic job resulting in a first place win in the category Association or Club.
I believe everyone in the committee enjoyed creating paper flowers, cranes, miniature kimonos and well wishes. With all these different items hung on the float, we enjoyed seeing our Tanabata come to life .
There were also many volunteers who dressed in Japanese yukatas to wear on the float in the parade.
The Quesnel Shiraoi Twining Society celebrates their relationship with Shiraoi Hokkaido, Japan which is now into its 32th year.
The next delegation of 15 adults arrives from Shiraoi Hokkaido Japan On Oct. 3 – 6. Many activities have been planned to celebrate their visit.
Some of our decorations from the QSTS Tanabata float have been preserved and on display at the Quesnel Museum from now till Oct. 20.
Also, if anyone is interested in seeing the Quesnel Shiraoi House or rent the Shiraoi House for an event, phone, 250 992 6532. If no one answers, leave a message and someone will get back to you.
Also our dinner meetings are the first Thursday of each month, everyone welcome.
– submitted by Diane Graham