Monday, May 05, 2008

Kodomono No Hi...Childrens Day May 5th

Kodomono No Hi or Childrens Day is celebrated May 5th each year during the Golden Week break.The national holiday which began as Boys Day in 1948 has changed nominally into Childrens Day though the emphasis remains on celebrating the strength and health of the young male members of families.
There is of course a Girls Day,Hinamatsuri,celebrated earlier in the year March 3 but this day,unlike May 5th,lacks the status or recognition of a National Holiday.
Traditionally families fly flags of carp shaped banners and also display in their homes a kubuto or samurai style military helmet.Both carp and helmets are symbols of strong and healthy boys.
Many department stores have replica sets of samurai armour,swords and helmets ranging in price from 30,000yen to several hundred thousand yen depending on the size and quality of the materials used.
The photo above shows a small ceramic helmet while the figure below is holding a carp ornament in his left hand.Both carp and helmets are associated with Childrens Day.

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