May 5 is the Childrenfs Day,
one of National Holidays.@Originally it was called
Tango no Sekku (Boysf Festival), and was for celebrating boysf growing up@healthy
Approaching this day, you
will see Koinobori (flying carp streamers) outside the house here and there.
Carp are said to be strong enough to swim even up waterfalls and have long
been taken as symbols of success in life. Inside the house, families with boys
set out dolls patterned after warriors, Japanese miniature war helmets, etc.
The day also features from
long ago the practice of placing iris leaves under the eaves to fend off evil
and taking a bath with iris leaves for the health. Families make an offering
of the traditional Japanese rice cakes of Chimaki (rice dumplings wrapped in
bamboo leaves) and Kashiwa-Mochi (rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves) and eat
The event of this Sekku was
carried out in the royal court of Nara and Heian period (8th`12th
century) in the Chinese style, and in Samurai society of Edo period (17th`19th
century) in the same style as the present time. Furthermore,@it
was from the end of Edo period that the people took up the custom of this
Sekku at their respective home.
The Tango no Sekku (Boysf
Festival) is now one of the most delightful events for Japanese children as
well as Momo no Sekku (Girlsf Festival) of March 3.