The Hawaii Japanese Center in Hilo will celebrate Tanabata (Star Festival) on Saturday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The traditional Japanese observation of Tanabata is inspired by the story of Orihime and Hikoboshi (the stars Vega and Altair, respectively) — two deities who were separated from each other by the Milky Way and could only be united once a year.

“Tanabata Time,” will feature yukata and kimono dressing for girls and boys with picture-taking services available. The custom of celebrating Tanabata by writing one’s wishes on pieces of paper called tanzaku and hanging them on bamboo will also be observed.
There will also be a craft fair, a Tanabata make-and-take craft table, children’s games, storytelling and matsuri dancing. In addition, festival-goers can create a kusudama ball with colorful fukinagashi (streamers). The materials will be provided at the event. Completed kusudama can be entered into a contest.

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