Tanabata is a Japanese star festival. The celebration is hold on the night of 7th of July.
This festival is inspired by the old and famous Chinese folklore.
Above is a quotation from Wikipedia.
Orihime (Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei
(Sky King), wove beautiful clothes
by the bank of the Amanogawa (Mlky Way).
Her father loved the
cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it.
Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in
love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet
Hikoboshi (Cow Herder Star) who lived and worked on
the other side of the Amanogawa.
When the two met, they fell instantly in love
with each other and married shortly thereafter.
However, once married, Orihime
no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray
all over Heaven.
In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa
and forbade them to meet.
Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband
and asked her father to let them meet again.
Tentei was moved by his daughter's
tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if Orihime
worked hard and finished her weaving.
The first time they tried to meet,
however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no
Orihime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make
a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river.
It is said that if
it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until
another year to meet.
A very romantic story.
But there is a problem.
The day of Tanabata, 7th of July is in the midst of Tsuyu, Japanese rainy season.
So...the lovers in the starry sky miss their precious meeting so often.
This problem derives from the usage of Gregorian calendar.
In past, Japan have used Chinese lunisolar calendar, and the Tanabata day comes AFTER the rainy season in this traditional calendar.
But most of Japanese simply ignore this problem and celebrate Tanabata even if it is raining.
Maybe we unconsciously think that a meeting between a husband and a wife is rarer the better. :-p