Japanese Language Blog

Kodomo no Hi Posted by on May 8, 2009 in Uncategorized

May 5th is Kodomo no Hi (こどもの日). Kodomo no Hi (こどもの日) is Children’s Day. It’s part of the Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク) holidays, which includes midori no hi (みどりの日) or Greenary Day, Kenpoo Kinenbi (憲法記念日) or Consitution Day, and Shoowa no hi (昭和の日) or Shoowa Day.

Originally, Kodomo no Hi (こどもの日) was called Tango no Sekku (端午の節句). Tango no Sekku (端午の節句) was known as Boy’s Day, but the government changed it to Children’s Day. On Children’s Day, parents buy their children gifts and spend quality time in a restaurant or at an amusement park. Sometimes parents just spend quality time at home with their children. The whole emphasis on this day is for parents to appreciate their children and for children to be praised and loved by their parents.

You’ll see a lot of homes that have fish streamers called Koinobori (鯉幟). The koinobori (鯉幟) fly in the wind and are held high by poles. The black colored streamers symbolize fathers, the red streamers symbolize the eldest son. If a family has more than one son, other than the eldest, the other sons are represented by either blue, green or purple streamers. The streamers also vary in size. The bigger the streamer, the older the person.

The reason why the streamers are called koinobori (鯉幟) is because koi () is a type of fish called a carp. Carps are thought to be one of the bigger fishes in Japan, and it symbolizes the parent’s wish to have strong and healthy children. On picnics and other outdoor activities, you may see people eat chimki (ちまき) which is a type of glutinous rice wrapped in a bamboo leaf. The bamboo leaf is just a covering. I just eat the rice, which is mixed with salt or vinegar.

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