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Family Saturday: Tanabata Festival

Video by Rusted Van Photography from the 2016 Tanabata Festival.

Join us for the annual Japanese star festival! Tanabata 七夕 at the garden is a family-friendly event that we celebrate with magnificent colors, craft making, and a tradition of writing wishes. 

The origin of Tanabata comes from the legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi, star crossed lovers separated by the Milky Way. Each year on the evening of July 7th, Orihime and Hikoboshi are allowed to reunite for one night only. In Japan, Tanabata is celebrated by decorating bamboo branches with origami ornaments and tanzaku, poems or wishes written on small strips of paper. 

Or garden visitors will have the opportunity to write wishes and tie them to bamboo sticks in the garden. Garden tours will be offered at 12:30. The Tateuchi Community Room will be open for guests to enjoy complimentary tea, and a photography exhibit by Roosevelt High School students, featuring their stunning photography of the Japanese Garden. 

The festival will also feature an energetic performance by UW Taiko Kai and a traditional bamboo sword demonstration by Sno-King Kendo Club, and origami workshop by P.A.P.E.R..



11:00am - 3pm      Tanzaku Wishing Station

11:15am - 12:15pm  Taiko performance by UW Taiko Kai

1:00pm - 3pm       Origami by P.A.P.E.R.

1:00pm - 4pm       Tea by Tankokai-Ryu (Tickets required)

1:30pm - 2pm        Kendo Demo by Regional Kendo Clubs

Traditional Tea Ceremony presentations will be held at the Shoseian Tea House at 1, 2, and  and 3p.m. A limited number of tickets are available at $10 for adults and $7 for youth. Tea ceremony tickets can be reserved by calling the ticket booth at (206) 684-4725. 

Event is free with regular garden admission and no advance tickets are required. Click here for Garden admission rates.  Children age 12 and under enter FREE from 10am to 2pm on Family Saturdays.