National Astronomical Observatory of Japan


Astronomical Events Information | 2016 | August

The Traditional Tanabata

Let’s search for Orihime Boshi, Hiko Boshi, and the Milky Way.

August 9, 2016 21:00 The Sky of Tokyo
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The “Traditional Tanabata (literally 7th Evening)” is the 7th day of the 7th month in the luni-solar calendar (sometimes called the Old Calendar). On the evening of this day, the Tanabata stars rise high in the evening sky and the almost quarter moon shines in the southwestern sky.

In the modern calendar the day of the Traditional Tanabata is different each year. This year the Traditional Tanabata is August 9.

Please look for Orihime Boshi (The Weaving Princess Star, the 1st magnitude star Vega in the constellation Lyra) and Hiko Boshi (The Lad Star, the 1st magnitude star Altair in the constellation Aquila), and in places where the night sky is very dark you might be able to see the Milky Way as well.

“The Traditional Tanabata Light-Down Campaign,” which started in 2011, invites people to turn off unnecessary lights and gaze at the starry sky around the day of the Traditional Tanabata.