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Seasons Greetings
It is just in the middle of the rainy season, and everyone can hardly wait for ending this.
It is conventionally known that there is no rainy season in Hokkaido, but recently, we have cloudy or drizzle days much more often than before also in Sapporo. I feel now missing the strong sunshine.

In summer, we have a traditional event called “Tanabata”. This is normally an event held in July, but in Hokkaido, it is on August 7th in the most areas.
I am from Honshu area, and came to Hokkaido decade ago. I got to know this fact after I started to live here, so was surprised then. Tanabata is originally an event held on July 7th of the old calendar, which is much later than the same date of the present calendar. So the date of Tanabata in Hokkaido is nearer to the original date than Honshu area.
Furthermore, the weather is not so stable around July 7th, but in August, the weather is better and you can see Altair and Vega as well as the Milky Way much better, which is a merit of holding this event in August.

There is another interesting custom of Hokkaido’s Tanabata called “Rousoku morai”, which literally means “candle request”. In the evening, children dressed in Yukata go around the nearby houses to get some sweets, with singing “Give me a candle!”. This is just like a Halloween but this has already existed and cultivated in Japan since the time before the Halloween was brought to Japan.

I have heard that the custom of Tanabata is quite different from region to region, so why not visiting and experiencing some different Tanabata festivals? You may be surprised at knowing your local Tanabata festival is quite original!