Keen kids can get into practice for the 2022 Wellington Japan Festival by trying their hand at origami paper folding.

The word Origami comes from ori meaning “folding” and kami meaning “paper”. The goal is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques – and that means no cheating with cuts or glue!

In Japan, the earliest reference to a paper model is a short poem written in 1680 which mentions a traditional butterfly design used in Shinto weddings.

The best-known modern origami model is the Japanese paper crane, or Tsuru, which has developed into a worldwide symbol of children’s desire for peace.

Tradition holds that if you fold a senbazuru (1,000 paper cranes) and make a wish after completing each one, your wish will come true. Each year on Peace Day (August 6th, the date of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945), tens of thousands of origami tsuru are sent to Hiroshima by children from all over the world.

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