Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Orihime who had a special gift for weaving the most exquisite cloth anyone had ever seen. Every day she would sit on the banks of the Amano River as her nimble fingers wove gossamer strands that flickered and shimmered in the light. But her father, the Sky King Tentei was worried that she was too isolated, so he arranged for her to meet a humble (but noble) cow herder named Hikoboshi (sometimes called Ushikai).
As these stories go, they fell in love at first sight and were married soon after. But their love was so consuming that they neglected their duties and soon Orihime's loom was collecting dust and Hikoboshi's cows were roaming around unattended. Despite the king's warnings the lovers were unable to part from each other, so Tentei forcibly separated the couple and forbade them to meet.
Despondent over her loss, Orihime approached her father in tears, begging him to let her be reunited with her husband. Tentei's heart was softened enough to allow the two lovers to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month on the condition that Orihime return to her weaving and Hikoboshi to his herds. The lovers agreed and so, once a year, they are reunited for a passionate, yet tender night.