Berlin and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Friday, July 10
to Friday, August 21
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library invites all our friends in Berlin and beyond to join us in a town-wide project of making 1,000 paper cranes.
You may donate these for display at the library, keep them, or give them to others in the community. Please let us know how many you make and send us a picture. Cranes may be any size and made from any lightweight paper, and we will also provide origami kits and tutorials for both a traditional crane and a simplified version for younger children.
What have we folded so far?
Grab & Go (Children)
Children’s kits will be available for registration on Monday, July 6, and can be picked up beginning Friday, July 10 or while supplies last. Click here to reserve a children’s kit.
Make & Take (Adult)
Fill out the form below to pick up a craft kit. Kits will be available from Friday, July 10th to Friday, August 21st or while supplies last.
Pickup days refer to the next upcoming Monday, Tuesday, etc.
Don’t miss the all-ages storytelling event On the Wings of Wishes on Thursday, July 9th at 6:30 pm.
Why 1,000 origami cranes?
“Senbazuru literally means 1,000 cranes and refers not to the wild creature, but to its delicate replication in paper, in origami. The challenge of completing a lei of one thousand folded paper cranes is a great one, but said to be rewarded with a wish.”
This legend comes from Japanese lore, in which a crane was thought to live for 1,000 years, thus being a symbol of health and good luck. Folding a thousand paper cranes on behalf of someone who’s sick indicates care and concern for that person.
Sadako Sasaki (memorialized in the books Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes and Sadako by Eleanor Coerr) was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Ten years later, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Sadako spent her final days in the hospital folding cranes in the hopes that she would have her wish for healing granted. Sadly, she died in 1955. After her death, her friends and classmates promised to create a monument in her honor, and this sparked a children’s peace moment which lead to the origami crane becoming a symbol of peace (learn more). Largely because of Sadako and her friends, the folding of one thousand cranes, which many leave at shrines or give to others, has become a tradition in Japan.
The origami crane has become a symbol of peace, hope, and healing.
As we have all had our own struggles during recent months, it’s more important than ever to share a collective wish for health, hope, and peace and do everything we can to work together towards these goals.