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Monday, July 1st, 2013

Tanabata Craft: Wish Tree (Tanzaku)

Tanabata Craft-Tanzaku/David Gee

Tanabata is the Japanese star festival. It’s a time when people make wishes for the year ahead. All wishes are written out and hung in bright colors on a bamboo branch. This festival is so colorful and vibrant, just have a look at some of these pictures from one person’s home in Okinawa for Tanabata.


Bamboo branch or any tree branch if bamboo is not available
Construction paper or other colored paper
Hole punch
String or thin ribbon


1. Have your child cut even strips of construction paper using child scissors. Older children could use a ruler to measure each piece to approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) and draw lines down the paper to cut on.


2. Once all the paper is cut, have your child punch a hole in the top of each piece.


3. Together with your child, make some wishes. You can wish for anything at all. Write one wish down on each strip of paper.


4. Have your child help put the string through the punched holes. Tie the string into a knot.


5. Hang your wishes onto your bamboo (or other tree) branch together with your child.


And violà! Now you have your very own Tanabata tree!

© 2013, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

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Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

  1. CommentsInCultureParent | Tanabata Festival: July 7   |  Sunday, 07 July 2013 at 10:09 pm

    […] a Tanabata Wish Tree (Tanzaku) Japanese summer recipe: cold somen noodles in broth Read a book on Japanese celebrations with your […]

  2. CommentsInCultureParent | Tanabata Festival: July 7   |  Sunday, 07 July 2013 at 11:58 pm

    […] a Tanabata Wish Tree (Tanzaku) Japanese summer recipe: cold somen noodles in broth Read a book on Japanese Celebrations to your […]

  3. CommentsInCultureParent | Tanabata Festival: July 7   |  Sunday, 06 July 2014 at 7:00 am

    […] a Tanabata Wish Tree (Tanzaku) Japanese summer recipe: cold somen noodles in broth Read a book on Japanese celebrations with your […]

  4. Comments7th July | Around the World with the Kids   |  Sunday, 06 July 2014 at 12:41 pm

    […] Tanzaku […]

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