The 5th day of the 5th month is a special day in Japan, kodomo no hi, or Children’s Day!
This is a special holiday to celebrate, you guessed it, the wonderful children in our lives.
There is even a special Google Doodle for today, check it out!
The main symbol of the holiday is koinobori, large kites in the shape of carps that are displayed proudly, strongly flying in the breeze. There is a fish for each child in the household, and they are flown in hopes that children will become as strong and determined like the carps, bravely fighting their way upstream to their goals.
There is even a special song for the koinobori. Take a listen!
Families also display samurai figures and helmets as symbols of bravery. Iris flowers, that bloom in early May, are also displayed around the home to ward off evil. Families also take baths filled with iris leaves.
Of course, there are special foods as well! Children munch on kashiwa-mochi, rice cakes filled with bean paste and wrapped in oak leaves, which symbolize strength.
Kodomo no hi is a national holiday in Japan, and there are fun activities for children to do. In Tokyo they hold a “Kid’s Olympics”. This year at Tokyo Disney Sea they held a jogging event. Towns and cities also hold their own local festivals as well.
At JAMS we have a tiny koinobori flying in our office. We hope our students will become strong like the carp, facing any challenge that comes their way with strength, bravery, and grace.
Our students inspire us everyday, and we are so thankful to know these special children.
Happy Children’s Day!