Holiday Celebrate Children's Day At Home

Information about holidays observed in Okinawa as well as Japan
If you have tried to plan out your trip to Okinawa, Japan around any May, you have probably heard of this largest Japanese holiday called Golden Week.

Golden Week consists of a series of four national holidays which are Showa Day (Apri 29), Constitution Day (May 3), Green Day (May 4), and Children's Day (May 5).

Amongst those, the Children's Day (Kodomo no hi) is very well known so today I would like to tell you what it's about.

Children's Day was originally called Tango no Sekku, which was to celebrate the presence of boys in the family. However, it became the current national holiday in 1948 to celebrate all the children; both boys and girls respecting their personalities, wishing for their growth and happiness.

Although Kodomo no hi is for all the children, many of the Japanese still consider it as for boys since there is a Girl's Day called Hina-Matsuri celebrated only two months before the holiday.

As a matter of fact, families with a boy(s) display a samurai warrior helmet (kabuto) as it is considered to protect the boy from illnesses and the evils.

How to make a samurai warrior helmet (kabuto)

However, that is not all you can expect for Children's Day!

A little before the Golden Week starts, you start seeing beautiful carp-shaped streamers hung outside local’s houses as an item for Children's Day.

They are flown to represent the family, which are:
  • The top/first carp (Magoi) represents the father,
  • a red carp (Higoi) that represents the mother, and
  • the last or smallest as the child.
Here are some koi nobori (carp streamers) that can be hung outside your house.

Some people might wonder, why carp?

Carp are strong and powerful swimmers as they can live in a lot of conditions of water such as in a clear stream, a pond as well as in a swamp. There’s also even a story from China that carp is believed to become a dragon when they swim upstream.

Along with the symbol hung outside, we also celebrate the day by having Kashiwa mochi to pray for the prosperity of descendants.

Kashiwa mochi - Mochi to be eaten on Children's Day (Kodomo no Hi) during Golden Week in Japan

Kashiwa mochi is a sticky rice cake with red bean paste in it wrapped in an oak leaf. My kids and I always enjoy eating it for not only its deliciousness but also its long history; it was eaten from the middle of the Japanese Edo period. Just in case you would like to grab one from the local store, please just make sure to not choke, especially if given to small children or elderly to try it as it is very sticky!

If you're in Okinawa during the time and would like your kids to experience the Children's Day, then find a one hundred yen store such as Daiso near you for small carp-shaped streamers!

Koi nobori (carp streamers) at Daiso

Or, you can make your own with your kids at home! All you need is paper, a disposable chopstick, markers, and tape. Colorful pipe cleaners can be used to decorate the bottom if desired.

Supplies to make koi nobori (carp streamers)

It's a simple three-step process.

diy-koi-no-bori-step-2.jpg diy-koi-no-bori-step-3.jpg diy-koi-no-bori-step-4.jpg

Regardless of the nation all the kids can be celebrated and respected on the same day!

Sending our love to all the kids in the world.
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of Okinawa.Org.
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About Author
Snow
Snow is the wife of @David, co-founder of Okinawa.Org, and a local national. She dedicates her time contributing posts about the Japanese language in the Language Corner forum as well as posts about Okinawan culture and other amazing things to do in Okinawa in the Okinawa blog.

Comments

Hey Snow you added this in the beginning:
Golden Week consists of a series of four national holidays which are Showa Day (Apri 29), Constitution Day (May 3), Green Day (May 4), and Children's Day (May 5).
My question is what is (May 6) ?
 
Hey Snow you added this in the beginning:
Golden Week consists of a series of four national holidays which are Showa Day (Apri 29), Constitution Day (May 3), Green Day (May 4), and Children's Day (May 5).
My question is what is (May 6) ?
May 6th was the substitute day for the Constitution Day 😊
 
May 6th was the substitute day for the Constitution Day 😊
oh is that what it is! LOL see no one ever told me i assumed it was still childs day omg! now i feel stupid not knowing and plus i never asked. iv'e been thinking this way for years :ROFLMAO:
 
oh is that what it is! LOL see no one ever told me i assumed it was still childs day omg! now i feel stupid not knowing and plus i never asked. iv'e been thinking this way for years :ROFLMAO:
Now you know (y) Though, I wouldn't like it if we had Children's Days for two days! :eek:
 
I am local but have never made that hat before. Thanks for the clip, I will absolutely make some with my niece next year😘
 

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