Day of Tanabata In The Garden

Experience a uniquely Japanese tradition on Tanabata Day on Sunday, July 7th. Originating from Chinese folklore, Tanabata is a holiday that celebrates the meeting of Orihime and Hikoboshi! Separated by the Milky Way, the stars Orihime and Hikoboshi can meet once per year on the seventh day of the seventh month. On this day, you can write a special wish or request on tanzaku paper and hang them in bamboo trees so Orihime and Hikoboshi can help make them come true. 


Tanzaku is a long, narrow strip of paper with printed art or calligraphy on them. Traditionally, they're available in five colors: blue, yellow, red, black and white. It is said that these five colors have the power to keep evil spirits and bad luck away. Placing them on bamboo allows your wishes to be closer to the heavens and move straight forward, just like the healthy growth of the bamboo.  


Stop by the Garden on Sunday, July 7th and make your special wish on tanzaku so Orihime and Hikoboshi may bring you good luck.

We are excited to make this activity available on Sunday, July 7th as our small way of celebrating Day of Tanabata. Please be aware this is NOT a festival; no food or special vendors will be attending. The wish on the tanzaku paper will be the only activity available on this general admission day. Thank you for your understanding.​


Sunday, July 7th, 2019   


Garden Admission Hours:

7 - 11 a.m. & 6 - 9 p.m.


General Admission - $7

Seniors (62+) - $6

Students/Military (with I.D.) - $5

Children 6 & under - FREE

*$1 donation will be appreciated for wish card to the bamboo tree*

Cartoon depiction of Orihime and Hikoboshi. 
Image source: Live Japan
Tanzaku hanging from bamboo trees. 
Image source: Live Japan

Story of Tanabata

Tanabata is a holiday that celebrates the meeting of Orihime and Hikoboshi! Orihime (織姫 Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei (天帝 Sky King, or the universe itself), wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (天の川 Milky Way, literally "heavenly river").


Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi (彦星 Cowman/Cowherd Star, or literally Boy Star) (also referred to as Kengyū (牽牛)) who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime would no longer weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again.


Tentei was moved by his daughter's tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month. When you make a wish on this day, the reunion of Orihime and Hikoboshi will make it fruitful.

We would like to encourage you to carpool if possible or take the light rail to this event as parking is limited.
  • When riding the Light Rail, exit at the Central and Roosevelt stop. The Garden is located on the west side of the rail, 0.3 miles from the station; it is directly behind the Irish Cultural Center (1106 N. Central Ave, Phoenix), just north of Portland Avenue. The Garden entrance is across the parking lot at 1125 N. 3rd Avenue.


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