Japan Australia Pages

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kodomo no Hi - Children’s Day

Kodomo no hi or Children's Day is a Japanese National Holiday during Golden Week which takes place on the 5th of May. While it is a holiday for children in general, it is primarily for boys (girls have a day of their own on the 3rd of March called (Hina Matsuri).

Children’s Day is a Japanese boy’s festival and is a day to pray for the healthy growth of boys. It is Japanese tradition for families with boys to display carp streamers (koinobori) outside their houses around this holiday. Carp are believed to symbolize successes in children’s lives, and by displaying koinobori it is hoped to bring boys of the family future success and luck. Samurai dolls called gogatsu ningyo (May Dolls) are also put on display in homes.

In my home, because we have a son we display kabuto (samurai helmet). Many people have these as a seasonal decoration displayed during Children’s Day. Kabuto is displayed to express hope that each boy in the family will grow up healthy and strong. We bought quite an expensive one in Japan, but really like having it out on display during Children’s Day. Our son loves wearing it on this special day as well.

You can see a picture of our family kabuto below

Family Kabuto (Samurai Helmet)
Some other interesting Japanese Festivals are:

12 comments:

  1. Love the samurai helmet! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks StarBrooke, It is awesome isn't it? Our little boy loves wearing it on kodomo no hi along with the vest and clothing that go with it :)

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  2. That's an awesome kabuto!

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    1. Thanks Lina, Cost us an arm and a leg to buy in Japan, but worth every penny :)

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  3. Lina stole my word: awesome. ^^ Today, on Children's Day, we finally have nice weather, and the carp banners are a lovely sight against the bright blue sky.

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    1. Thanks Rurousha, Appreciate that! Wish I had one my size :) Must be a great sight with the carp streamers gliding over the beautiful blue skies. Very cold here in Melbourne at the moment.

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  4. Your son is a lucky boy! But even at my age, sometimes I want to go and buy one for myself.

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    1. Thanks Rohan, Yes he his, but like you would love one of my own. The kabuto we have is just too small for my head :(

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  5. It is always fun seeing the streamers around Japan. Its kind of like Christmas lights, some go up early, others just before, but they all take awhile toget torn down! Hopefully no storms will come around and mess them up this year!

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    1. Thanks Benjamin, It is a great sight for May and especially on a beautiful day with perfect blue skies. Is it tradition to bring them down straight after kodomo no hi like gogatsu ningyo and kabuto?

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  6. Nice. I kinda feel like Kodomo-no-Hi and Hinamatsuri are to Japanese children as what Christmas is to many western children... more or less. I just wish we could have 4-day weekends every week. :)

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    1. Hi Sarah, I like your idea about the 4-day weekends every week. That would be nice! Yes, I guess in a sense Hinamatsuri and Kodomo no hi are like Christmas as they are a time to appreciate children and is a special time for them. Did you do anything special with your time off?

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