Tanabata is a Japanese star festival. According to a folktale, Hikoboshi (star Altair) and Orihime (star Vega) were lovers and separated by the Milky Way to only meet once a year. Typically people celebrate on July 7.
Since I was a kid I loved learning about other cultures and especially holidays. In college I studied Japanese language and culture. I have lived in Japan and visited many times. I love celebrating holidays and throwing parties. I enjoyed my Hinamatsuri party so much that immediately afterward I started planning this Tanabata party. A friend who lives in Japan was amazing and sent me many fun Tanabata things to use. Eight children and three adults attended this party.
We made decorations, wrote out wishes, and hung them from bamboo. I had so much fun searching for, coming up with and making themed food for this party. My young guests were thrilled to celebrate with us and learn a little about this Japanese festival.
- Black paper plates
- Black and white paper straws (from Michaels)
- Black napkins with white stars (from Michaels)
- Silver plastic tablecloth
Tanabata Table Setting
I choose dark drinks to be reminiscent of the night sky.
- Chocolate milk
- Grape juice
- Blue tortilla chips with salsa
- Fruit cups with stars (apple shooting stars, watermelon stars, red grapes, blueberries, pineapple)
- Alfredo Pasta Pie with Toasted Bread Stars (I did not exactly follow the recipe, I made my own cheese sauce and used cheddar. I did not use the basil, tomatoes, and green onions because I was serving kids. I did not put the bread stars under the pasta.) with Hikoboshi & Orihime (inspired by this.) I made their bodies out of bell pepper, faces out of cheese, and hair details are from dried seaweed. I put the characters on after baking but their faced did eventually melt into the hot pasta.
- Tanabata layered rice (I was inspired by this.) I filled mine with sauteed onion, black beans, and diced tomatoes. I topped it with snow pea and 2 stars.
- Roasted Zucchini
- Make your own Milky Way Pasta (I made spaghetti and tossed with a little butter. The kids put cucumber and carrot stars on top and added paper Hikoboshi & Orihime picks.) I re-sized this to make the picks.
- Star shaped rice balls with melted cheese
- Star dish with Japanese snacks
Tanabata Fruit Cups
Tanabata Pasta Pie
Tanabata Layered Rice
Make Your Own Milky Way Pasta
Star Cheese Onigiri
- MilkyWay candy
- Star brownies with powdered sugar and sprinkle stars (I used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate mix)
- Tanabata cookies (I was inspired by this)
- Grape jam tarts (I made a pie crust, fitted into a mini muffin pan, spooned in grape jam, added 2 stars and baked)
Grape Tanabata Tartlets
Tanzaku Paper and Ties
Tanabata Net Decoration
Tanabata Decoration Kit
Tanabata Folder with Stickers
Back of Tanabata Chocolate
Tanabata Chocolate Open