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How to Make Your Own Tanabata Decoration

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Every year the Tanabata festival is celebrated around the world in commemoration of the stars Orihime (Vega) and Kengyu (Altair), two lovers separated by the Milky Way except for this one night. Originating in China, this romantic story became popular in Japan beginning in the 8th century and is still widely celebrated to this day.

Tanabata means the "7th evening," and is celebrated during the 7th night of the 7th month. Due to the change from the lunar calendar to the Gregorian calendar, it is often celebrated on July 7th, but traditionally it is held in August, when the sky is clear and the two stars are closest in the sky.

The Tanabata festival is often characterized by writing wishes on colorful strips of paper (tanzaku) onto sprigs of bamboo branches , but another popular decoration is the kusudama, the colorful, round decorations with long strips of paper hung during the festivals. Here, you can find directions to create your very own kusudama!

This craft activity was created by Discover Nikkei staff at the Japanese American National Museum for a Tanabata Workshop as part of the Museum's 10th Anniversary of the Pavilion Open House event on June 20, 2009.

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ylkawashima — Last modified Nov 29 2011 4:10 p.m.


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