Legend holds that the great god of the skies, Tenno Osama, had a beautiful daughter named Orihime who was a very talented seamstress. Orihime is the Japanese name for the star, Vega (The Weaving Girl Star). She would work tirelessly, day and night, weaving beautiful fabrics that Tenno Osama simply adored. He also adored his daughter and became saddened one day when he noticed that she looked so forelorn. Tenno Osama talked with Orihime and discovered that she was spending her days and nights weaving out of love for her father but that she felt lonely and empty inside.

Feeling great empathy for his beloved daughter Tenno Osama set about the task of scouring the world in search of a companion for her. He found a good-hearted and hard-working cow tender by the name Hikoboshi. Hikoboshi is the Japanese name for the star Altair (The Cow Herder Star).

The two young ones instantly fell in love and were married. Orihime went about her weaving with a light and happy heart. Hikoboshi tended his cows with renewed passion and enthusiasm, for he knew that after a long day in the fields he and Orihime would spend blissful night together.

Before long though their thoughts of one another became so pervasive that they started losing their commitment to their work. In time her weaving became shoddy and his cows, being poorly tended, wandered off. This development displeased Tenno Osama.

Finally, Tenno Osama decided that he must separate Orihime and Hikoboshi. He created a huge, wide river in the sky that he named Amanogawa. We in the West know it as the Milky Way. Then he placed Orihime on one side of the vast river and he removed Hikoboshi to the opposite side. Although broken hearted they went back to attending to their duties; she once again weaving fine fabrics and he tending dutifully to his cows. Despite Orihime's beautiful fabrics she cried every day so missing her beloved Hikoboshi.

In time Tenno Osama's heart softened and he agreed to allow his daughter and her love to meet once a year as long as they each continued to diligently attend to their work.

....... July 7th of the Lunar calendar is the day that was chosen for their blissful reunion. So, on July 7th, if you look up into the summer nighttime sky and you can see Vega (the Weaving Girl) and Altair (the Cow Herder’s Star), it means that Orihime and Hikoboshi, two lovers, were once again reunited.

Also on this day, children write their wishes on strips of colored paper and hang them on tree branches in Japan. It is said that their wishes will come true if Hikoboshi and Orihime could meet each other once again.

If however, you look up and see clouds… it’s a sad day indeed as the lovers will have to wait for another year.

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