Kodomo-no-hi (Children's Day) - May 5

What's the meaning of this event?
Children's Day (Kodomo-no-hi) falls on May 5, and one of the most popularly celebrated national holidays. It is also a seasonal festival called Tango-no-sekku (Iris Festival), because May 5 marks the beginning of summer on the old lunar calendar.

What do people do on this day?
Although it is called Children's Day, it is actually celebrated as the Boys' Festival. So, most families with boys celebrate it. To drive away bad spirits and celebrate the future of their sons, families hoist koinobori (cloth carp streamers) from balconies and flagpoles, and indoors display gogatsu-ningyo (samurai dolls and their armaments) on tiered ledges. Children take syobuyu (a bath with a bunch of floating iris leaves), and eat kashiwa-mochi (a rice cake wrapped in an oak leaf ) and chimaki (a dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves). Carp, samurai, irises, oak trees, and bamboos all symbolize strength.

Also there is an argue that Hinamatsuri (The Girls' Festival) should be a national holiday because Kodomo-no-hi (Children's Day) is a national holiday and is celebrated as the Boy's Festival.

Are there objects associated with this eventH

Gogatsu-ningyo (samurai dolls and their armaments)

Koinobori (cloth coustructed carp streamers)

Chimaki (a dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves)

Kashiwa-mochi (a rice cake wrapped in an oak leaf)

Here is very famous song which is related with this event. It is called "Koinobori (Carp streamers)." Please hear and practice it!

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Date last modified: Tuesday, 05-Mar-2002 16:50:02 EST
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