In Japan, July 7 was originally called the Day of the Loom or the Festival of the Loom. (In Japanese the loom is called 棚織 and pronounced “tanabata.”) In historic Japan a cleansing ritual was enacted in which maidens wove a kimono, placed it on a shelf, and greeted the gods, praying for a good harvest and other favors. This joint prayer day evolved into a festival. According to Japanese records Loom festivals were held in the Imperial court already in 691 AD, in a ceremony borrowed from China. (more…)

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