In Japan, Children’s Day or Kodomo no Hi 子供の日 falls on the fifth day of the fifth month – May 5th. It combines with a series of other holidays that make up Golden Week ゴールデンウィーク, a week that most Japanese get to take off for vacation. Until 1948, it was considered Boy’s Day, as Girl’s Day or Hinamatsuri ひな祭り falls on March 3rd. Now it is a national holiday to celebrate health and happiness for all children and to show gratitude towards mothers.
Decorations include koinobori 鯉のぼり or carp-shaped flags, and usually there is one for the father, one for the mother, and one for each child. Other decorations are a samurai named Kintaro who is famous for his strength as a boy, who is often depicted riding a carp or koi, and a traditional Japanese military helmet or kabuto – both of which represent strength.
Sweets include kashiwa-mochi, or oak-leaf-wrapped sticky rice cakes with sweet bean paste in the middle, and chimaki, a sweet rice paste. Sometimes on Children’s Day the family bathwater is sprinkled with iris leaves and roots to promote good health.
Does your country celebrate its own Children’s Day? What kind of celebrations do you have? Tell me about it in the comments!