Every July 7, the festival of Tanabata (also known as the Star Festival) is observed throughout Japan. Celebrating a legend of two lovers separated for all but one day a year, one of the most popular activities is writing one’s wishes or goals for the next year on a strip of paper and hanging it from a bamboo branch. The city of Sendai in northern Japan hosts one of the largest Tanabata celebrations, holding parades through the streets and erecting massive decorations, including streamers of thousands of origami cranes.

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