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May 5 Kodomo No Hi Childerns Day PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 26 April 2008 16:17
 kodomo no hi kabuto samurai helmetKodomo No Hi (Children's Day) falls on May 5th and is one of the most popular national holidays in Japan. Although it is called Children's Day, it originally started as “Tango no Sekku” (Boy's Day) similar to Hinamatsuri (Girl's Day).

After World War II it was changed to celebrate the health and growth of all children, in hopes of uplifting the spirits of Japan.

koinobori carp flag Families hoist Koinobori (cloth carp streamers). These can range in size from a few feet to several meters in length. Koinobori are believed to be strong, spirited fish that are known for their determination in fighting up streams and through powerful waterfalls. Some are hung off balconies and others are hoisted up on huge flag poles. It is also a part of Golden Week.

 gogatsu ningyo may dollGogatsu-Ningyo (Dolls for boys) are put on display in homes. The dolls are patterned after samurai warriors and heroes, and their armaments, such as Kintaro, Momotaro and others that symbolize courage.

Some families also display a Kabuto (samurai helmet). To drive away bad spirits and celebrate the future of their sons. 



 iris flowers in bloomIris flowers bloom during this time, and are placed in the home to ward off evil. Some families still practice the ancient practice of taking a Syobuyu (a bath with floating iris leaves). This is said to have medicinal values.

Kashiwa mochiFamilies also eat Kashiwa-Mochi (a rice cake stuffed with bean paste and wrapped with oak leaves) and Chimaki (a dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves).




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