Kodomo no Hi, also known as Children’s Day, is a Japanese national holiday that takes place on May 5th each year. Its origins lie in an ancient Chinese tradition of the two fifth, happening on the fifth day of the fifth month of the year, which was a day for warding off evil spirits and promoting good health and vitality. When the tradition was brought to Japan, it merged with another holiday known as Tango no Sekku, which celebrated the strength and courage of boys.
Nowadays, it is a celebration of the happiness and health of children, as well as their future success. One of the most well-known symbols of this holiday is the Koinobori, or carp-shaped windsocks. These windsocks are traditionally flown outside homes and public places throughout Japan during the weeks leading up to the holiday. The carp is a symbol of strength and perseverance, as it is known for swimming upstream against strong currents. Each Koinobori represents a member of the family, with the largest carp representing the father, followed by progressively smaller ones for the mother and children. The carp are usually brightly colored and decorated with various designs, such as samurai helmets or Japanese flags.
In addition to the Koinobori, families may also display other decorations such as dolls, banners, and iris flowers. Traditional foods such as mochi and chimaki are also commonly enjoyed.
This day is a wonderful celebration of the importance of family and the hope for a bright future for children in Japan.