Royal Botanic Gardens
Richmond, Greater London TW9 3AB
Tanabata is the Japanese festival that celebrates the coming together of two stars, Orihime and Hikoboshi, who can only meet once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month. This year, join us at Kew Gardens to enjoy workshops, activities and performances marking this ancient summer festival.
Try your hand at Japanese calligraphy and origami, follow the Tanabata Treasuer Trail, learn about the Tanabata story through performances by Haruka Kuroda of A Thousand Cranes Children’s Theatre Company, and tour Kew’s famous bamboo collection with experts Ray Townsend and Maria Vorntsova.
In Japan, Tanabata takes place every year on the 7th day of the 7th month. The festival celebrates the romantic story of the weaver star Orihime and the cowherd star Hikoboshi, who are separated by the Milky Way and are only allowed to meet on this one day each year. People celebrate by making paper origami decorations and writing their wishes on strips of coloured paper called tanzaku, which they hang with other paper ornaments on bamboo in the hope their wishes will come true.