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Brazil: Tanabata Matsuri in São Paulo


Tanabata Matsuri (Festival of the stars) is based on the story where the two beloved couple became stars, and they could only meet each other in the sky once a year.

Here in São Paulo (Brazil), Japanese descedents and curious Brazilians get together to celebrate this festival during a weekend in July. The festival is annually taken place in Liberdade (an asian neighbourhood).

Like the summer festivals in Japan, there were several food stands along the street (takoyaki, yakisoba, okonomiyaki, makizushi, inarizushi, yakitori...).


You can also see some colorful "tanabata" made of paper waving with the wind. And it´s so nice to see those colors attracting so many tourists and curious people, they just get their cameras or their cellphones to take a picture.

The main part of this Festival is to buy coloured papers (tanzaku), write your wish and hang them on bamboo branches along with the street.



Anyways, they sell in different colours because it depends on the "kind" of wish you want:

- white for peace;
- yellow for money;
- red for passion;
- pink for love;
- green for hope;
- blue for a pray to the sky (??)

It´s about one dollar (R$ 2,00 - two reais) for one piece of paper.


Unfortunately, they've never worked for me ... or... haven´t happened yet.

Sunday night, the last night of Tanabata Matsuri in Liberdade, they burn those bamboo branches where all tanzaku were hung... so all those wishes can reach the sky. Poetic end for Tanabata Matsuri in São Paulo.

Marina Tamiko Mizioka
Marina T. Mizioka is half sansei, half yonsei, born, raised and living in São Paulo, Brazil since 1979. Read more »