Japan will see your chocolate-carrying rabbit and raise you a co-opted mayonnaise mascot wearing a muppet costume.
Just because Sesame Street is a show for kids, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some Elmo-shaped food!
Around the beginning of July in Japan, you’ll start to see shops, stations, streets, and homes being decorated for the Tanabata festival (in English often referred to as the Star Festival), which happens on the seventh of July (or, depending on who you ask, the around the seventh of August)each year. Most typically you’ll find large branches of bamboo leaves, called sasa, hung with colorful origami decorations, and wishes written on strips of paper by people hopeful that they will be granted when star-crossed lovers Altair and Vega meet.
Generally you’ll find typical wishes for happiness, good health, getting into a good school or finding a good job… At times, you’ll also see some witty ones that will give you a good chuckle. Or, you know, ones that invoke pity for the wisher whose parents named them Elmo.
Twitter user @amatou320 posted a photo online of a rather, ah, innovative scarecrow on a Japanese farm. If you ask us, it’s far more terrifying than your standard straw-stuffed shirt and it probably elicits some tears from passing children too, but we’re not sure if it will really work on crows…