The Japan Society

Tanabata Festival (July)

Subject: Art & Design / Geography / Other Topics
Level: Key Stage 1 / Key Stage 2 / Key Stage 3
Age: 5-7 years / 7-11 years / 11-15 years
Resource Type: Activities / Presentations / Lesson Plans / Worksheets / Videos / Other


Tanabata is a summer festival based on an old story which tells of the annual reunion of two lovers in the Milky Way. The characters in the story represent two stars, Vega and Altair, and so it is also known as the ‘Star Festival’.

Tanabata is famous for its large and colourful decorations that adorn the streets in shopping areas and town centres. Use the resources below to learn more about the Tanabata Festival and make your own decoration called a tanzaku.

Learning Objectives

  • To learn about the decorations and customs associated with the Tanabata Festival Japan.
  • To be able to summarise the main points of the Tanabata story

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will write a wish on a Tanzaku card


Tanabata Lesson Plan (PDF)
Tanabata Presentation (PPT)
Worksheet: Make a Tanzaku (PDF)
Worksheet: Tanabata Decorations (PDF)

   Activity Pack - suitable for both classoom and home learning

Additional Resources

Digital and Printable Kamishibai of the Tanabata Story
Tanabata Video