Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Golden Week – Children’s Day

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/25 Traditional Culture , , , ,

Today in Japan is Greenery Day (みどりの日, Midori no Hi) which is a part of the series of holidays called the Golden Week. If you want to read more about Greenery Day, read our previous post. Continuing our series of posts regarding Golden Week, we will feature Children’s Day (子供の日) or Kodomo no Hi.

Children’s Day

Children’s Day (子供の日) or Kodomo no Hi as it known in Japan is a Japanese national holiday every 5th day of May – the fifth day of the fifth month. It is a day set aside to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness. It was designated a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948 but it has been a day of celebration in Japan since ancient times.

Children’s Day Origin

The fifth day of the fifth month was traditionally called Tango no Sekku (端午の節句) and was celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th moon in the lunar calendar or Chinese calendar. After Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar, the date was moved to May 5. It was originally a festival for boys as girls have the Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) every March 3. In 1948, the government decreed this day to be a national holiday to celebrate the happiness of all children and to express gratitude toward mothers. It was renamed Kodomo no Hi.

On Children’s Day, families with boys fly huge carp-shaped streamers (こいのぼり, koinobori). The number of carps depends on the family size: one carp for the father, one for the mother, and one carp for each child (traditionally each son). The carp was chosen because it symbolizes strength and success; according to a Chinese legend, a carp swam upstream to become a dragon.

koinobori

A house displaying outside a koinobori. (Photo from gilgongo on Flickr)

Families also display a Kintarō doll usually riding on a large carp, and the traditional Japanese military helmet, kabuto, due to their tradition as symbols of strength and vitality.

kintaro

Kintarō (金太郎, often translated as “Golden Boy”) is a folk hero from Japanese folklore. He is a child of superhuman strength. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

kabuto

Kabuto (兜, 冑) is a type of helmet first used by ancient Japanese warriors. Shown in the photo is a Suji-type kabuto (helmet) used during the Muromachi period. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Also on this day, families often take baths sprinkled with iris leaves and roots. This is because the iris is thought to promote good health and ward off evil. Rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves and filled with sweet bean paste, called kashiwamochi, are also eaten.

References:

1. Children’s Day. Wikipedia.

2. Children’s Day. Web-Japan.

The following two tabs change content below.

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

shogi

Shogi, The General’s Board Game – Board and Gameplay

In our previous posts about shogi, we learned its history and the pieces that make the game. In this post, we will learn more about the moves of each piece. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June 3, 2015 […]

Read Article

20141011_123524

Omihachiman and the man named William Merrell Vories – Part 2

Where is Omihachiman? Omihachiman is located on the eastern shore of Lake Biwa – the largest lake in Japan. According to wikipedia Omihachiman means “Hachiman in Omi”. Since the Edo Period Omihachiman has been known to be a merchants town and is now widely known to be the birthplace of ‘Omi-shonin’ – the merchants from […]

Read Article

Wrong kunoich

We are ninjas: The word “ninja”

When I was a child, “ninja” was not known worldwide like today. Of course it was very popular in Japan, but famous ninja anime / manga (“Sasuke” and “Kamui” by Sanpei Shirato were probably the best-known at that time) were for rather adults than kids to compare with the present “Nintama Rantarou” or “Naruto”, although […]

Read Article

boom

Pyoon! Nyan! Pachi! – Learning the Japanese Onomatopoeia 2

In our last post about Japanese onomatopoeias, we talked about the first type which is the giseigo or words that mimic human and animal sounds. This time, we will talk about the other two types: giongo and gitaigo. As we mentioned in the last post, the Japanese language is full of onomatopoeias. Some of them […]

Read Article

089508

Keirou no Hi or Respect for the Aged Day

Today is a special day for the elderly in Japan. Special in the sense that the government really made a holiday to celebrate and pay homage to them. People across the country travel to their hometown to visit their parents and relatives. But what exactly is “Respect for the Aged Day”? The following two tabs […]

Read Article

Swordsmith in Osafune

Osafune in Okayama: The land of Japanese sword – Part 1 –

Bizen country, its main area was southern part of the present Okayama prefecture, was very famous for swordsmithing. It’s also famous for pottery called “Bizen-yaki”, but in this post, I’m going to focus on swordsmithing only.   Swordsmiths in Bizen There were a great number of swordsmiths in Bizen. According to several websites, it seems […]

Read Article

yomifuda

Karuta: Traditional Japanese Playing Cards – More Karuta Variations and Karuta in Popular Culture

In our previous post about the Japanese traditional card game karuta, we listed some of popular karuta variations. In this post, we will post more of these karuta variations and karuta in popular culture. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – […]

Read Article

Shiba

Japanese dog as a spiritual being

Dog in Japan One of the very popular animals in Japanese old tales. As long as I remember, usually drawn as a white medium-size Japanese dog in a book, with a curled tail and erect, triangular ears like a Kishu dog. The dogs are always loyal, take the good men’s side. I can’t remember any […]

Read Article

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kyoto: Night Illumination Kiyomizudera

After that nice city stroll, the hunt was on again – the hunt for autumn foliage that is. Earlier that day we started our hunt at northwest part of Kyoto (Kagamiishi Dori) where we found beautiful concentrations of momiji foliage. This time we were set to see one of the best night illuminations in one […]

Read Article

go_19x19

Let’s Play “Go”! – Terms and Strategies

In our previous posts about Go, we learned that Go is a game which originated in China (Go History) and we also learned its basic rules (Go Rules). In this post, we will learn about strategies and other terms in Go. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑