Kodomo no hi (こどもの日, Children’s Day, 5th of May), today it is a day to celebrate all children’s health and growth. “Koinobori” kites in the shape of a carp, a lucky fish symbolizing determination and success, are flown above rooftops for each child in their house. Many families also display helmet replicas so called Kabuto or samurai dolls in their homes.
Foods to prepare for Children’s Day
Kashiwa-mochi is a rice cake wrapped with oak leaves filling azuki bean paste inside. Kashiwa-mochi is considered to be a symbol of prosperity descendants because oak leaves do not fall until the shoots grow.
Chimaki is a steamed dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped with bamboo leaves. In western Japan, it is traditionally eaten on Children’s Day.
Customs of Children’s Day
＊鯉のぼり：Koinobori Kites (Carp-shaped kites)
Carp is thought to be a lucky fish symbolizing success in life since it is said that carp have the strength, courage and endurance to swim up waterfalls.
Shobu-yu is the bathwater heated with iris roots and leaves in it. It is said that the blood flow would be smoothly when we take a Shobu-yu. It is also believed that taking a Shobu-yu is to purge negative energy.