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VNCS :: ビクトリア日系文化協会

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society – Celebrating Japanese-Canadian Culture

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Kodomo no hi :: こどもの日 (Children’s Day)

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 the 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.

Koinobori (鯉幟), meaning “carp streamer” in Japanese, are carp-shaped wind socks traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Tango no Sekku (端午の節句), a traditional calendrical event which is now designated a national holiday; Children’s Day.[1] These wind socks are made by drawing carp patterns on paper, cloth or other nonwoven fabric. They are then allowed to flutter in the wind. They are also known as satsuki-nobori (皐幟).

Children’s Day takes place on May 5. Landscapes across Japan are decorated with koinobori from April to early May, in honor of sons and in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong.

Koinobori

Koinobori : The black carp (Magoi) at the top represents the father, the red carp (Higoi) represents the mother, and the last carp represents the son, with an additional carp added for each subsequent son with color and position denoting their relative age.