May 5- Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi)

May 5- Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi)

May 5- Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi)


The last holiday during Golden Week is celebrated in the name of children. On May 5th falls the last holiday of the week that is marked as Children’s Day. The day is Japan’s national holiday, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month. It is the only day of Golden Week that is a customary holiday and broadly celebrated.


The day was originally celebrated as Boy’s Day (Tango no Sekku ), as Girls Day (Hinamtsun) is celebrated on March 3(not a national holiday), but in1948, the government announced the day as a national holiday to celebrate the happiness of all children (both sexes) and to show gratitude towards mothers. And the day was renamed as Kodomo no hi. Even after the name change, the festival mostly focuses on Japanese boys.

On this day, for the health and success of their children, families hang up Koinobori banners in the shape of a carp (type of fish) for each child in the house. According to Japanese culture, carp is a symbol of determination and courage, overcoming all the obstacles and to swim upwards. Japanese families inside their homes display kabuto, samurai helmets, or orgogatsu-ningyo, samurai dolls and their armaments. Samurai dolls represent traditional folktale characters such as Kintaro and Momotaro who symbolize bravery, success and power in life. Families even places, iris flowers that bloom in early May to fight off evil. Also on this day it is a custom to take baths known as syobuyu, with floating iris leaves and roots.


On this day, children eat kashiwa-mochi, or rice cakes wrapped in Kashiwa (oak) leaves with sweet beans inside. Another traditional food that is consumed on this day is Chimaki, or dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves. On this day, events highlighting children are held throughout the country. Children take the center stage and perform many traditional Japanese plays. There is a children’s song called, “koinobori”, which is often sung during this time.


The day is a very popular holiday in Japan among children. It is a national holiday to celebrate the happiness of children. Children also use this day to thank and show respect for parents, teachers and families who care for them.



Children’s Day marks the end of “Golden Week”. Hope you have enjoyed this festive season with complete fun and enthusiasm. Do give your opinion regarding the Japan’s Golden Week. We will be happy to know your views on the longest festive season of Japan.


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