In Japan, Tanabata takes place every year on the 7th day of the 7th month. The festival celebrates the romantic story of two stars, representing gods Orihime and Hikoboshi, who are separated by the Milky Way and are only allowed to meet on this one day each year.
Southbank is celebrating the festival in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Society as part of the Storge Weekend
Made by local schools and community groups, Southbank Centre’s large-scale brightly coloured Tanabata fukinagashi decorations are in the style of those put up in the Tohoku city of Sendai.
They can be found on The Clore Ballroom balcony, on the Belvedere Road facade of Royal Festival Hall.
Come along and take part in free family workshops, activities and performances themed around the Tanabata story.
Find out about the seven traditional paper Tanabata decorations and make paper cranes, streamers and tanzaku on which to write your wishes.
Try your hand at Japanese calligraphy, dress up in festival yukata (summer kimonos) and follow the Tanabata treasure trail
Watch performances of Japanese song and dance, and join in as we retell the Tanabata legend.
Kindly supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.
Some timed activities will need to be pre-booked. If you have a particular interest in the robot or family drama workshops please email The Japan Society to register in advance.