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.
Schedule of Activities
10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m.
11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
Guided Tours of the Japanese-style Garden
11:10 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 1:10 p.m.
Tanzaku, Origami, Calligraphy, and Paper Lantern Decorating
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
This program is presented in partnership with the Japan-America Society of Washington DC.
Celebrate the beloved Japanese-style garden all month long with tours, workshops, and a family festival celebrating Tanabata.