asazuke

Life in Japan, food, music, whatever…

Cloudy Tanabata 8 July, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johnraff @ 1:43 am
Tags: , , ,

Today is Tanabata – a day full of associations with the Summer stars and the Milky Way. Unfortunately, on the 7th of July your chance of being able to see any stars is pretty low, as it’s the middle of the rainy season! In fact, “the 7th day of the 7th month” should really be by the lunar calendar, which would put it about a month later, in early August, when you’ve got a much better chance of a star-filled Summer sky. Some places in Japan have Tanabata festivals in August, but the official date is the 7th of July, i.e. the lunar date has just been switched to the Western calendar with no adjustment for the (about) 1-month difference. The same happened to the “first day of Spring” and most other events on the Japanese calendar since it was changed to the Western Gregorian system in 1873.. Apparently the current Meiji government saved a month’s worth of civil servants’ salaries that way, but we’re still living with the consequences…

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