6 August 2014 to 7 August 2014, 10am to 2.30pm
The Japanese Minka House
Included with entry to the Gardens
A tree covered in <em>Tanabata</em> wishes
Join us at the Minka House to celebrate Tanabata, the Japanese star festival. Try your hand at origami and calligraphy then hang your wish in our beautiful Bamboo Garden. Leading Japanese calligraphy artist Shoho Teramoto will give a special performance each day at 2pm, painting a two-metre long mural while a storyteller recounts the romantic legend that the festival celebrates. Will appeal to both adults and children.
Take an exclusive tour of the bamboos with one of Kew’s horticultural experts.
11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2.30pm: Calligraphy workshops
11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 3pm: Origami workshops
2pm: Storytelling by Roger Day and Calligraphy Performance by Shoho Teramoto
What is Tanabata?
Tanabata is held between 7 July and 7 August throughout Japan. The festival traces its origins from a romantic legend that the Cowherd Star (Altair) and Weaver Star (Vega), separated by the Milky Way, are allowed to meet just once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month.
People celebrate by writing their wishes on strips of coloured paper called tanzaku, which they hang with other paper ornaments on bamboo, before praying in the hope their wish will come true. Special events and concerts based on the legend take place throughout the Tanabata season.
With thanks to the Embassy of Japan for their help arranging this festival.