The Star Festival in Hakodate

You know, it will be the Star Festival tomorrow, on July 7th.
Probably many children love this day especially in Hakodate.
I don't know about the other area in Hokkaido, but there is a unique custom in Hakodate on the day.

Children walk around in the neighborhood and get snacks or other things from neighbors. I think it's similar to "trick or treat", only I have watched it on TV though.
I heard that children got only candles a long time ago, but nowadays many residents voluntarily prepare many snacks such as candies, chocolates, jelly, juice, Umaibou(Japanese snack) and so on, and sometimes candles. And they put decorated bamboos in front of their doors to sign that they prepare some gifts for children.

When it's 6 o'clock in the evening on July 7th, children start to walk around and they have to come back home by 8:00. Children who are in the third and upper grade at elementary school can go out themselves without their parents, but they have to walk in groups. When they find decorated bamboos, they open their doors and then they sing a special song in front of the resident. The song is
"Take ni Tanzaku, Tanabata Matsuri, Oui ni Iwao, Rosoku 1pon Chodaina" in Japanese,
that means like "Happy the Star Festival. Let's celebrate it with hanging decorations and paper strips written your wish on the bamboo. Please give me a candle." .
After children sing it, they can get some snacks or juice or a candle or a little toy and so on from the resident. Some residents put a decorated bamboo and a big gift box in front of the door that is said "after you sing the song, you can get one". It means that don't disturb or no one is at home. So children sing in front of the box and get one gift.

Many shops like convenience stores or toy shops or drug stores or any stores join it. Especially toy shops are popular with children. Because they can get small goods the shop has. Children can wait while customers are at the counter.

I also prepared about 50 bags of these snacks set.

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Thank you for posting this. My dream was to be in Japan during tanabata -- I'm hoping I can make it for some later celebrations (August for some places).

I don't know why I love this festival so much, especially since I am not a child! Haha.

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Hello, just visiting,

Thank you very much for your nice comment again.
I hope your dream comes true. And I like tanabata too especially in Hakodate. To tell you the truth, I was looking forward to eating Umaibou because I don't buy it usually i-229.

Since it seems that you live overseas for a long time (I bet you're Japanese.), I learn English from your comment. Thanks!
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Sakae

Author:Sakae
Welcome to my blog.
I'm married and we have a son. I live in Hokkaido, Japan.
I like handmade things and Ikebana(arranging flowers).
I hope that you enjoy my articles and photos.

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