Happy 4th and 7th of July!

If you are American, you might be confused looking at the title of this post. Let me clarify. I wanted to wish holiday greetings to all of my American and Japanese friends, and we celebrate different holidays. July 7th is a festival in Japan called Tanabata, or the Star Festival. People write wishes on little strips of paper and hang them on trees. Here’s a photograph of a teacher from my group putting his wish on a little tree at one of the schools we visited.


FireworksFor people from other countries who are reading this, the 4th of July is America’s Independence Day. We usually celebrate by watching fireworks, having backyard barbeques, and spending time with family and friends.  In my case, I went to see some fireworks one day early, and then spent today at the New England Aquarium with my cousins. It was raining all day, so the typical outdoor festivities wouldn’t work today. At the aquarium, they even had some Japanese jellyfish! Here’s a little video that I filmed today too, because jellyfish are so cool.

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While I was in Japan, I didn’t get to celebrate any big holiday, but I did get to walk through a carnival type event on my way to dinner with Naoki. There were lots of kids all dressed up and enjoying carnival type food, right along the path leading up to a shrine. It was pretty different than a celebration I’d see in the United States. We were on our way to dinner, so I didn’t get to taste any of the foods or play any of the games, but it all looked great!

I’m curious about what other celebrations happen around this time in other parts of the world! Have any of you experienced a different or new kind of holiday from another country? There must be many more holidays that would be new to us. Whatever holidays you celebrate, wherever you are, wishing all of you readers a wonderful week!

p.s. Do you have fireworks like this in Japan?

Categories: Japan

6 replies »

  1. Fourth of July is usually a time we celebrate with fireworks. This year it rained so most of the fireworks were either before the 4th or after the 4th. Fireworks in my town will be tonight and some in August. I enjoyed the video of the Jellyfish at the aquarium. I have been to the Boston Aquarium a few times. Next weekend, I am going away with my family to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut.

  2. You went to the New England Aquarium? Yay! Did you touch any of the rays/sharks in the Shark and Ray Touch Tank? I didn’t know they had jellyfish from Japan though, that’s interesting.
    In one of the pictures from the Japanese carnival, it looks like a giant tank filled with baby turtles! Were they selling them? They’re so cute!
    Finally, did you see the fireworks in Boston?
    Happy beleted 4th and early 7th of July!

  3. What types of carnival games did you see in Japan? Were they similar or different to any games in American carnivals?

  4. Celebrating Tanabata seems fun. I went to Atlanta to visit my cousins on the 4th of July and saw lots of fireworks. Also, my aunt’s birthday is on the 4th of July. Since she lives in California, we don’t always get to see her but we make sure to wish her a happy birthday. Then when we go see the fireworks, we’re always like, “See, the fireworks are for you”.

  5. WOW really cool I do thing in I heard in Canada in instead of Halloween they
    have day of the dead were the celebrate or remember the people who past on.

  6. The Tanabata festival in Japan looks cool, especially if their wishes come true! I never went to a different country other than Jamaica. For this 4th of July I was with my grandparents in Plymouth celebrating Independence Day with fireworks and bon fires. It must be strange being in another country on the 4th and not having fireworks and parades!

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