The Festival

tanabata festival 2011

Tanabata Matsuri, the Star Festival, is a traditional Japanese festival that celebrates the coming together of two star lovers (Altair and Vega). Come and see the story brought to life through theatre, be enchanted by sound of traditional music and try your hand at calligraphy, origami and putting on kimono.

Hidden Cafe
Leeds University Union
Friday 11th February (Friday is exclusively for schools, but Saturday is open to the public)
– 9am until 5pm
Saturday 12th February 2011 (open to all)
-10am until 5pm
Free entry!


Saturdays Event Schedule

Come one, come all!

10.00 Taiko Drum Performance
10:30 Akemi Solloway: Tea Ceremony
11.30 Taiko Drum Performance
12.05 Shakuhachi and Koto Performance
1.00 Iaido Demonstration
1:00 – Showing of the movie Swing Girls (in association with East Asian Cinema Society). ARC Meeting Room 5.
1.20 Akemi Solloway: Samurai
2.00 Koto and Shakuhachi Performance
2.30 Akemi Solloway: Japanese Lesson with Totoro
3.00 Jiu Jitsu Demonstration
15:00 – Showing of the movie Summer Time Machine Blues (in association with East Asian Cinema Society). ARC Meeting Room 5.
3.20 aikido
4.00-5.00 perform
9.00 – After party at the Elbow Room.

New Information!

First of all we’d like to give a huge thank you to our new sponsors:
The Japanese Shop (
The Japan Centre (
Nursery Fresh (

In our quest to make 1000 origami cranes, we’re currently up to 522! With just 478 more to go, let’s keep working hard!

We’ve also got a few more times on the Events Page, including Sumo wrestling, a World Heritage Site Photo Exhibition viewing evening, and the all important after party.

We’ve still got more work to do, including the following tasks, so if you want to help out, then please get in touch.

Next tasks:
Tori gate
Assembling of decorations
Play set backdrop artwork
Artwork/ photo display boards
More cranes!
More flowers!

Just a reminder: Friday 11th is exclusively for schools, all helpers must attend a child protection training briefing one evening next week (contact us for more details).

Saturday 12th is open to the public so please invite all your friends!!

Thank you 🙂

1,000 Origami Crane Challenge

For the festival we need to make 1,000 origami cranes. So far we’ve got off to a flying start and have made 119 cranes, with 881 left to go. Here’s our hard working “crane-construction-crew” in action.

We need more cranes!

We need more cranes!

Remember, if you want to get involved in crane-making or any other aspect of the Leeds Tanabata Festival, you can find more details on the ‘Get Involved’ page, as well as details on how to get in touch with the committee on the ‘Contact’ page.

New Date

The Tanabata Festival will now take place as part of the International Cultural Festival at the Leeds University Union on 11th and 12th February 2011.