One of the most popular holidays in Japan, Kodomo-no-hi or Children’s Day is celebrate on May 5th. Though it is called Children’s Day today, this holiday is celebrated as “Boy’s Day”. Girls have their own day, Hinamatsuri.
On Kodomo-no-hi families drive bad spirits away and celebrate the prospects of their son’s future. Warrior samurai dolls are put on display in the home. Koinobori, carp streamers, are flown on flagpoles and from balconies. Children participate in syobuyu, an ancient ritual, by taking a bath with iris leaves floating in the water. In addition, kashiwa-mochi (rice cake wrapped in an oak leaf) and chimaki (dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves) are served. All these figures: the carp, the samurai, irises, oak trees, and bamboos symbolize strength and courage.
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