Origami: Tanabata Ring Streamers Designed by: (traditional) Made by: Heather ---------- Today's origami lesson is twenty-eighth in the series. Today we are continuing a special series to prepare items for Tanabata, the Star Festival, in Japan. Today is the thirteenth item and we will make some ring streamers. Here is the story of Tanabata: The story of Tanabata. Once there was a star princess named Orihime. She was known at the Weaving Princess because she was so talented at weaving beautiful cloth. Her father, Tentei the Sky King, loved her weaving and made her work hard every day to make more cloth. Orihime was sad though since she only made cloth and never met anyone. Her father felt sorry for her and so he arranged to have her meet Hikoboshi, the Cow Herder Star. He lived and worked on the other side of the great river Amanogawa (which we know as the Milky Way). When Orihime and Hikoboshi met they fell in love. Soon they were married and were very happy. So happy that Orihime stopped weaving her beautiful cloth and Hikoboshi stopped taking care of his cows. Tentei was very angry that he did not have his daughter's cloth and Hikoboshi's cows were straying all over heaven. Tentei had to separate the lovers so that Orihime would go back to making beautiful cloth and Hikoboshi would take care of his cows. He made Hikoboshi return to his home on the other side of Amanogawa. This made them both very sad, and Orihime did nothing but cry all day long. Tentei decided to compromise. He allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if Orihime worked hard on her weaving. Orihime worked hard and finished her beautiful weaving. She set out to cross the river but found that there was no bridge. She began to cry and her tears brought a flock of magpies. They offered to make a bridge with their wings to help her cross the river. She crossed the river with the magpies help and met with her dear Hikoboshi. If it rains on the 7th of the July then the magpies cannot come to make the bridge and Orihime and Hikoboshi have to wait until the following year to meet again. This night celebrates the meeting of the Vega star (Orihime) and the Altair star (Hikoboshi) in the Milky Way. In Japan, it is common to find branches of bamboo displayed at shrines, schools, and homes. These are decorated with small origami. There are usually seven common decorations on these branches. -Paper Strips (tanzaku) (wish for good handwriting and studies) -Kimono (good sewing, no accidents or bad health) -Paper Crane (family safety, health, long life) -Purse (good business) -Net (good fishing and harvest) -Trash Bag (cleanliness and unwastefulness) -Streamers (the strings that Orihime uses to weave) People write their wish on the tanzaku. In old times it was common for girls to wish for better sewing and craftsmanship, while boys would wish for better handwriting. These days students usually wish for good grades or write down what they wish to be in the future.
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