May 5th ... Kodomo no Hi (or Tango no Sekku).
Children's Day was established as a national holiday in 1948.
Originally it was a holiday to respect boys, pray for their happiness AND give thanks to mothers.
(There is a separate day for girls on March 3rd : Hinamatsuri or Momo no Sekku)
Now that Mother's Day is a part of Japan's
gift giving culture, Children's Day is focused more on children. Since Girl's Day is not a national holiday there is sometimes controversy on
why 'boy's day' is a holiday... SO these days most events held on this day are for both girls and boys.
However, the "traditional" decorations for Children's Day are for boys: the Koinobori (carp flags) and helmets that were used back in the days of the Samurai.
Since I do not have any children I don't have a real set of these decorations but I do have a small furoshiki that I use as tapestry to celebrate this day.
The helmet is at the bottom left ... On the bottom right is a taiko (Japanese drum).
Here is a picture of real Koinobori...the picture is blurry because I spied the flags on a mountainside! The wind was perfect, the carp flags looked as if they were swimming in the air!
and this is a unique Koinobori in the making, at a park in Takarazuka.
Children were making these yellow pieces of material that the park "rangers" were adding unto a rope (like a clothes line) forming the shape of a carp.
Why a fish, and why the carp?
Well, it seems to be a lucky fish.
It was the only fish that was able to swim up a waterfall (in China) and successfully become a dragon.
My next post will be a little bit more on what I saw in the city of Takarazuka and a very unique boy!