Traditional Origami Cicada

origami cicada
This origami cicada is an easy model to fold with only 6 steps. Thousands of Japanese children have made and played with this traditional model so why not make one yourself?

Traditional Origami Cicada

origami  cicada

Step 1:

Start with a square sheet of paper.
Place the paper with the white-side facing up and oriented like a diamond.
Fold the paper in half so it looks like a mountain.

origami cicada

Step 2:

Fold up the two bottom corners so they meet the peak of the mountain.

origami cicada

Step 3:

Fold back down the two corners except fold them so the corners point away from each other like the wings of a bug.

origami cicada

Step 4:

Fold down the top-layer of paper as shown.

origami cicada

Step 5:

Fold down the bottom-layer of paper except make it a little less wide so you can see some of the white paper from the previous step.

origami cicada

Step 6:

Fold back (mountain fold) the left and right sides of the model to make the body of the cicada.

origami cicada

Step 7:

Paper cicada is done. Now you can make lots of them to represent their emergence from under the ground.



Watch video:

Cicadas are interesting insects. They live mostly underground but in hot, dry summer months, cicadas crawl out of the ground and climb up trees. They undergo metamorphosis and become adult cicadas with wings. The bugs fly away leaving behind the exoskeleton shells.

When they emerge, they come en mass with thousands -if not millions- on every possible surface. Not only are they plentiful, they are noisy. The adult male cicada attracts females by contracting and relaxing muscles along noise-making structures located at their abdomen. After they mate, the females lay the eggs in tree trunks and then the cicadas die. The eggs eventually hatch releasing a new generation of nymphs which fall to the ground and burrow underground until it is time for them to emerge again.

In the old days, Japanese children catch cicadas and also collect the empty exoskeleton shells. Because of this, cicadas symbolize summer. Some cicadas emerge near the end of summer, so cicadas can also symbolize the passage of time or the end of the season. To this day, Japanese people have fond memories of their childhood lazy-day summers when they collected cicadas for enjoyment.