Tanabata = たなばた (one of the cutest festivals in Japan)
What do people do during Tanabata?
One popular custom is for people to write their hopes and wishes on small strips of colored paper and hand them from specially erected bamboo plants.
The bamboo and decorations are often set afloat on a river or burned after the festival, around midnight or on the next day. There is also a traditional Tanabata song:
Sasa no ha sara-sara (笹の葉 さらさら)
Nokiba ni yureru (軒端にゆれる)
Ohoshi-sama kira-kira (お星様 キラキラ)
Kingin sunago (金銀砂子)
Large-scale Tanabata festivals are held in many places in Japan, mainly along shopping malls and streets, which are decorated with large, colorful streamers.
The bamboo leaves rustle, rustle,
shaking away in the eaves.
The stars go twinkle, twinkle;
Gold and silver grains of sand.
Here is a picture from the Sendai festival...