Tanabata 2016 – The Star Festival

July 7th is Tanabata. It is a traditional Japanese holiday that people in Japan celebrate and pray to the stars to make a wish.

It is one of my favorite Japanese holidays since the concept is very sweet and romantic. A couple who are in different areas of the night sky get to meet on the bridge of the milky way once a year. I probably shouldn’t summarize this myth like this but that’s the main concept of the story. (If you are curious, please look it up since I am sure there are many variations of the story in different regions) On Tanabata, people write their wish on a piece of coloured paper and make some origami decorations and hang them onto a Sasa plant (a small bamboo) to make a wish. When I was a kid, I used to wear Yukata (summer kimono) on this day to celebrate it formally.

I stopped celebrating many Japanese holidays when I moved to Canada just because many traditions, like Tanabata, are focused on children. But now that I have my boys, I decided to start celebrating each holiday with my family in Canada, as much as we can. (at least our version of the holiday) Last year, the boys were very young so I just made some origami decorations and wrote wishes and took pictures of the boys in Jimbei (old style boy clothes).


This year, I made some origami, and instead of writing a wish, I let my boys colour Tanabata themed colouring printables and I hung them up! If you are interested in seeing pictures of the coloured Tanabata pictues and the boys in Jimbei this year, I posted some pictures on my Instagram.

I cooked Japanese food for dinner to keep the “Japanese festival” feel to this house today.


tanabata 2016 dinner - mommyoutnumbered.com


It’s not really fancy but I wanted to make something traditional and comforting to enjoy my home country today. I was so sad though, that my boys didn’t appreciate the Chirashi sushi…!!


tanabata 2016 dinner - mommyoutnumbered.com 3

Chirashi sushi – This time I cheated and used a Chirashi Sushi Mix for the rice (vinegar sauce with some small diced veggies) to save time, and I added cucumber, imitation crab and seaweed for toppings.


tanabata 2016 dinner - mommyoutnumbered.com 5

Ginger Pork – thinly sliced pork and shimeji mushrooms fried in soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and grated ginger


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Kabocha squash stewed in soy sauce based broth


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Shiitake and Leek Soup


Although I would love to make many more Japanese dishes for my boys, I find it difficult to find time to cook lately so I have been making quick and easy meals. I hope to be able to cook or bake with the boys so that they can appreciate many different types of food as they grow up. Actually many Japanese holidays have some sort of traditional food or sweets to go with each occasion, it will be a challenge to try to find those ingredients abroad so to make those foods, but it is worth the effort because it’s a great way for the boys to learn about the culture through food.

Thank you so much for reading!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. Have a nice weekend.






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2 thoughts on “Tanabata 2016 – The Star Festival

  1. Nikki says:

    I love reading about Japanese holidays from you since I wasn’t raised celebrating them. All of the dishes you prepared look delicious!


  2. yosh_mommyoutnumbered says:

    Thank you so much Nikki❤
    I am so glad that you enjoy my posts on Japanese holidays! It is challenging to find food or decorations here for them so I have to modify a bit but I hope to keep doing it 🙂


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