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Kodomo Day

5 May 2020


5th May is Children's Day in Japan, when families celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of children. 5th May was traditionally called Tango no Sekku and was a festival for boys. Girls have their own festival, called Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival), held on 3rd March.

On Children's Day, families with boys fly koinobori banners (鯉のぼり) outside the house and display dolls of famous warriors and other heroes inside. The carp was chosen because it symbolizes strength and success, samurai warrior figurines and samurai kabuto helmets are inspired strength and bravery.

There are also certain traditional foods that are eaten on this day. Children indulge in Kashiwa mochi, a pounded rice cake filled with red bean paste and wrapped in an oak (kashiwa) leaf. Another Children’s Day food, Chimaki, which is said to have originated in China, consists of a long, sticky rice cake wrapped in a bamboo leaf.