Noshiro Tanabata ( AKA Noshiro Nebunagashi ) is a traditional Tanabata Festival, which is originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival to celebrate the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively) like many other Tanabata Festivals in Japan.
What makes Noshiro Tanabata special are the floats decorated with the gigantic castle-shaped lantern which is believed to be introduced in 1830.
The lanterns will be put on the boats on the Yonashiro river next day as the ritual known as “Nebu Nagashi”.
There are multiple theories regarding the origin of the festival.
According to one of those theories, over 1,000 years ago, when Abe Hiroo and Sakanoue no Tamura Maro had the battle with Ezo tribe, numerous lanterns were used to threaten the opponents and it originated the lanterns parade.
Regarding the origins of ‘Negu Nagashi’, it is believed to be based on the story about children who kept walking throughout the night of July 6th in order to avoid falling asleep while waiting for July 7th, Tanabata day.
August 6th and 7th
Dates and functions are subject to change without notice. Be sure to check the latest information in advance.
Noshiro City, Yamagata Prefecture
http://www.city.noshiro.akita.jp/c.html?seq=1188（ Japanese )