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01/05/16
If you are wondering about the origins of origami, then read on! Here are a few key facts to get you acquainted with this ancient art:

Let’s start with the literal meaning of the word. In Japanese ‘ori’ means to fold, and ‘gami’ means paper.
It is widely believed that the art of making origami first came about in China around the year 102 AD and was then gradually imported into Korea and Japan. This paper folding art became very important in the day to day lives of Japanese citizens, to the extent that origami was taught at school as part of the curriculum. Nowadays children are usually taught origami at home by their parents. Many holidays are celebrated by making different types of origami. For example, on children’s day the children make colourful carps to symbolise strength (carps famously exhibit great strength when swimming against the current). In China, traditional funerals generally include a ceremonial burning of origami.

One of the most famous origami models is the Japanese crane, which has become the international symbol of peace. An ancient Japanese legend says, if someone makes one thousand cranes and makes a wish, then their wish will be granted. But remember that you cannot ask someone else for help in your epic endeavour. Any cranes that are made by another person will not be counted and therefore your wish will not be granted. All cranes must be made and kept together by the person making the wish.

If we look beyond the legend, origami cranes also have a cultural signification. A thousand paper cranes are traditionally given as a wedding gift by the father, who is wishing a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple. They can also be given to a new baby for long life and good luck. Hanging them in one's home is thought to be a powerfully lucky and benevolent charm. In light of the above, why not try your hand at making your own assortment of paper cranes, and perhaps one day your wish will be granted...