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Children's Day (Japan)

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Children's Day こどもの日, Kodomo no Hi is a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month, and is part of Golden Week It is a day set aside to respect children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness It was designated a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948 It has been a day of celebration in Japan since ancient times


  • 1 History
  • 2 Celebration
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


The day was originally called Tango no Sekku 端午の節句, and was celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth moon in the lunar calendar or Chinese calendar After Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar, the date was moved to May 51 It was originally exclusively male celebrating boys and recognizing fathers, but has since been changed to include both male and female children, as well as recognizing mothers along with fathers

Until recently, Tango no sekku was known as Boys' Day also known as Feast of Banners while Girls' Day Hinamatsuri was celebrated on March 3 In 1948, the government decreed this day to be a national holiday to celebrate the happiness of all children and to express gratitude toward mothers It was renamed Kodomo no Hi


On this day, families raise the carp-shaped koinobori flags carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, and the way the flags blow in the wind looks like they are swimming, with one carp for the father, one for the mother, and one carp for each child traditionally each son Families also display a Kintarō doll usually riding on a large carp, and the traditional Japanese military helmet, kabuto, due to their tradition as symbols of strength and vitality

Kintarō 金太郎 is the childhood name of Sakata no Kintoki who was a hero in the Heian period, a subordinate samurai of Minamoto no Raikou, having been famous for his strength when he was a child It is said that Kintarō rode a bear, instead of a horse, and played with animals in the mountains when he was a young boy

Mochi rice cakes wrapped in kashiwa oak leaves—kashiwa-mochi mochi filled with red bean jam and chimaki a kind of "sweet rice paste", wrapped in an iris or bamboo leaf—are traditionally served on this day

See alsoedit

  • Japan portal
  • Holidays portal
  • Culture portal
  • Shichi-Go-San
  • Hinamatsuri
  • Children's Day
  • Golden Week
  • Double Fifth
  • Tết Đoan Ngọ


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al 2005 "Tango no Sekku" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp 948, p 948, at Google Books


  • Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth 2005 Japan Encyclopedia Cambridge: Harvard University Press ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 48943301

External linksedit

  • Kids Web Japan
  • Video on Children Day in Fukushima, Japan
  • Video on Children Day in Coffs Harbour, Australia

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Children's Day (Japan)

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