Tanabata Matsuri in São Paulo

July 9, 2007 | By More

tanabata matsuri, liberdade

This weekend the Liberdade Japanese quarter was host to the Tanabata Matsuri festival, also known as star festival. It’s a Japanese festival with a tradition of more than 1,000 years, celebrated in Brazil since 1979.

tanabata matsuri, liberdade

We went to the Liberdade on Saturday, on a shiny day with warm temperature. Liberdade is one of those places in São Paulo that always has a reward in store for its visitors. This weekend the prize was unbeatable: the streets of Liberdade were full of colour and life, with thousands of people (whether from the Far East or not) enjoying a quiet stroll along the streets.

Along the colourful decoration, the central element of the Tanabata are the tanzakus, messages hang from the trees where the public write their petitions to the Gods.

tanabata matsuri, liberdade

During the weekend there is schedule of colourful folk presentations.

tanabata matsuri, liberdade

tanabata matsuri, liberdade

The oriental community takes part in the festival en masse.

tanabata matsuri, liberdade

tanabata matsuri, liberdade

The whole album with the pictures I took on Saturday can be found here: Tanabata Matsuri in São Paulo.

Make a note on your calendar so you don’t miss the festival next year – it takes place at the beginning of the month of July.

Tags: , ,

Category: Brazil in pictures, Destination: São Paulo

Comments (4)

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  1. Neimar Alves Guerra says:

    How come?
    I live at Liberdade neighborhood and I didn’t know about this festival and I missed it.
    By the pictures I could notice it was amazing and next year I wont miss it again.
    I would like also to say that I’m huge fan of your blog and I read all your posts.
    As Brazilian I have to thank you to spread information about my country and culture around the world.
    Congratulations and keep doing this nice blog.

  2. Tony says:

    Prezado Neimar, muito obrigado pelos seus comentários, quê pena que você não ficou sabendo do Tanabata. Fica para o próximo ano!

  3. Gringo from US says:


    Kudos on the design and layout of your site. Probably the cleanest and easiest to use of all English language Brazil sites.

    Btw, when talking about Japanese, Chinese, Korean…anyone from Asia, the proper term to use is “Asian”, ex. “Asian Brazilian” or “Nippo Brasilian”, not oriental. Oriental is the wording to describe a rug, piece of furniture.

    There’s a deep pejorative connotation calling a person “Oriental”. “Oriental” is associated with european colonialism in Asia and racial segregration policies in North and S. America.

    Simply put, its as if somone called a Spanish descended person “spic”, “wetback”, “beaner” or “white trash”.


  4. Tony says:

    Thanks a lot for your comments and compliments, Gringo. Regarding the use of “Asian”, it might well be that I learned English in the UK (where I lived for 7 years). In the UK Asian is used to refer specifically to people from the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan or Bangladesh). It is for that reason that I avoided using Asian here, as well as the fact that it is far too vague (there are no Thais or Vietnamese in the Liberdade neighbourhood). I have done some research and apparently “Oriental” has no pejorative connotations in British English either.

    But I definitely take your point about the pejorative nature of Oriental in the States. I’ve also done some research and realized it is an issue. I’m going to reword the entry to avoid causing offence to US readers.

    Once again, thanks a lot for your valuable contribution.