7th July has another name, 'Tanabata' in Japan, which is also known as Star Festival.
This is one of 5 traditional seasonal turning points (Gosekku) based on Chinese old calender.
The idea of Gosekku came from that odd number(Yang) becomes Yin when there are two odd numbers in a date such as 7th July, and that brings bad luck.
To avoid the bad luck, special events started to be held on 7th January, 3rd March, 5th May, 7th July and 9th September.
(According to https://kotobank.jp/word/五節句-501876)
Also there is a folktale about Orihime and Hikoboshi. They are allowed to meet each other at Milky Way once a year on 7th July.
But nowadays, Tanabata is known most as the day we hang a small piece of paper
(`tanzaku` in Japanese) written our wish on a branch of a bamboo.
Shonan-Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival is one of the biggest Tanabata Festivals in Japan along with Sendai Tanabata Festival in Miyagi prefecture.
Hiratsuka's was 68th anniversary this year.
Although the parade was cancelled due to the rain unfortuately, the decorations and food stalls were fascinating for us to see and sketch.
The ladies selling Hiroshimayaki kindly allowed us to sketch at the stall.
The taste was really good, too !
Some of us tried to make a cup of shaving ice by pedaling a bike.
The music by traditional Taiwanese instruments were beautiful.
Hiratsuka locates in Kanagawa prefecture and takes one hour from Shinagawa station by JR Tokaido line.