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Tanabata, the Japanese Star Festival, celebrates the legend of Orihime, the weaver princess, and Hikoboshi, the herder, lovers separated by the Milky Way who are allowed to meet just once a year on one day during the summer months.

Hillwood and the Japan-America Society of Washington DC invite you to celebrate this festive holiday at Hillwood.

  • Explore the enchanting Japanese-style garden
  • Listen to fascinating tales by storyteller Tara McGowan, who brings Japan's famous Tanabata legend to life through story, song, and visual arts
  • Listen to delightful music, performed by the Washington Toho Koto Society
  • Write poems and special wishes on colorful strips of paper, called tanzaku, to hang on bamboo, following the traditional Japanese custom to celebrate Tanabata
  • Decorate a paper lantern, make paper ornaments, try your hand at Japanese calligraphy, and more

Please note: Performances take place rain or shine and are located inside the visitor center theater and conservatory. 


This program is presented in partnership with the Japan-America Society of Washington DC