Friday, 13 July 2012


July 7th is Tanabata, or the Star Festival. There are several versions of the legend, originating in China, but all involve a pair of separated (star-crossed?) lovers. The princess Orihime (represented by the star Vega) and her lover Hikoboshi (represented by Altair) are separated by a river (the Milky Way) and can meet only once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh month, and only then if the weather is fine.

Sadly for them, it was a rainy Tanabata this year. On the evening of the 6th K's kindergarten held its summer festival. The boys put on their jinbe and went to enjoy some typical festival fun, such as fishing; firstly with a hook for a bag of snacks...

...and then with a spoon for little bouncy balls:

The main Tanabata activity nowadays is to write wishes on a strip of paper and tie them to bamboo decorated with paper/origami ornaments. The wishes are generally about self-improvement or goals for the future. Children often write wishes like 'to be good at baseball' or 'to be able to eat all my vegetables'. K's class all told the teacher what they want to be when they grow up, and she wrote all their wishes onto paper strips for them. K said he wants to be the kindergarten bus driver...

Even at the little nursery where T goes once a week, they had a little Tanabata celebration. T came home the previous week with some origami paper for us to make decorations with and some paper strips to write his wishes on, all to be taken back and tied to the big bamboo branch at nursery. So what do you think T wished for? Well, H and I did our best to read his mind and wrote 'to be able to talk soon' and 'to be able to play together well with K'. We brought home a section of the bamboo with his decorations on...

Finally, on the 7th I made Tanabata Curry. OK, so it's basically just curry trying to look pretty...

The rice in the middle of the plate represents the Milky Way, separating the two sections of curry. In Tanabata Curry world the weather must have been good, because there's the (shredded omelette) bridge joining the two sides. Then we have some carrot and omelette stars and some sliced okra (conveniently naturally star-shaped) for added celestial goodness. The only snag was that K didn't want to spoil it by eating it...


  1. Great job with the curry :)

  2. I agree, I think that curry looks fantastic Diane! So pretty.

    I really like the story of tanabata. I feel so sorry for the pair. Only getting to meet up once a year. : ( But I do like the wishes part and find tanabata so fun. Plus it's my youngest son Noah's birthday. Ha ha ha. : )

  3. OK, I admit, the curry idea wasn't mine ;-) But I did make it all myself!