Tuesday, June 2, 2015

children's day in Japan

May 5 was Children's Day in Japan, when families celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of children. It became a national holiday in 1948, but it has been a day of celebration in Japan since ancient times.

The fifth day of the fifth month was traditionally called Tango no Sekku (端午の節and was a festival for boys. Girls have their own festival, called Hina Matsuri (雛祭り,Doll Festival), held on the third day of the third month.

On Children's Day, families with boys fly huge carp-shaped kites (鯉幟koinobori) outside the house. The carp was chosen because it symbolizes strength and success; according to a Chinese legend, a carp swam upstream to become a dragon.

photo: Matsumoto, Japan
Nagano Prefecture

(c) Bruce Behnke 2015