Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Children's Day

Today, May 5th, is "Tango no Sekku" in Japan. It's the boy's equivalent of "Hina Matsuri" that I mentioned back in March.

Instead of dolls, we display a small battle helmet called Kabuto as well as Koi Nobori, which are wind socks shaped like Koi fish. I remember being petrified of them both when I was little! Kabuto, by its nature is meant to intimidate, and Koi Noboris can be quite large. They often have golden eyes with red streaks, and I always thought they looked angry.

Now that I look at them as an adult, though, I think they are quite elegant. My son's Kabuto has intricate floral details while maintaining to appear masculine. And Koi Noboris are quite majestic swimming in the blue sky.

Although it's not meant to be, fighting with my brother was also a May 5th "tradition" in our house! After WWII, the government decided to make May 5th a national holiday, and quite unfortunately, named it Children's Day. I always felt it was unfair that boys got the spotlight on "Children's" Day, while my brother always argued that girls already had their own day in March. I'm sure that same "tradition" played out throughout Japan again this year!

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