Kw-logo-smaller

Children’s Day

May 28, 2011

May 5 is Children's Day in Japan, when families celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of children. It became a national holiday in 1948, but it has been a day of celebration in the Asian country since ancient times.

The Facts

In ancient Japanese times, the fifth day of the fifth month was traditionally called Tango no Sekku and was a festival for boys only. Girls had their own festival, called Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival), held on the third day of the third month.

Today Children's Day families with boys fly huge carp-shaped streamers (koinobori) outside the house and display dolls of famous warriors and other heroes inside. The carp was chosen because it symbolizes strength and success; according to a Chinese legend, a carp swam upstream to become a dragon.

In recent years, as more people have moved into apartments and smaller houses, the carp streamers have also gotten smaller, and there are now miniature versions that decorate the indoors.

Also on this day, families often take baths sprinkled with iris leaves and roots. This is because the iris is thought to promote good health and ward off evil. Rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves and filled with sweet bean paste, called kashiwamochi, are also eaten.

The Scene

On May 5 of each year, events highlighting children are held throughout the country of Japan. At the National Kasumigaoka Stadium in Tokyo, tens of thousands of children and their parents participate in a Kids' Olympics. It has the look and feel of the real thing, since the National Kasumigaoka Stadium was the main arena for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It even features a torch relay, and there are races for parents and kids in different age groups.

Many activities involve the arts. At the Yokohama Noh Theater one year, a kyogen recital was held that featured 18 young actors. The youngest of them was a second grader and the oldest was in the seventh grade.

Kyogen is a type of comic theater that was founded around 600 years ago and is performed with traditional costumes and a distinctive acting style. The kids had been attending practices once or twice a week since the summer of 1996 to learn the unique comic expressions, movements, and uses of the fan. One of the pieces performed was called Shibiri, in which a servant claims he can't run an errand for his master because every time he tries to do so his leg falls asleep.

The theater was packed with parents and friends, who not only enjoyed the humorous pieces but were also extremely impressed with the kids' convincing performances.

Related Stories
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

-ZeroHero-

-ZeroHero- wrote:

cool
commented: Sun Jun 16, 2013

there are 1 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

share with your friends


Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

F1038274007671

Should School Music Programs Be Cut?

  • No way, music is a very important art.
  • Maybe, if not enough people are interested.
  • Yes, who needs it.
  • I don't care cuz I'm not in music.

related stories

Hideki Matsui and his monsterous swing have earned him the nickname Godzilla and helped the Yanke...
Micro_apolo-ohno-micro
Oh, no! Here comes Apolo. Meet the fastest guy on ice, who always has great hair - speedskater, A...

Random in the forums

Cheshire-
Cheshire- posted in Debating:
"hiphopgirl555" wrote: "Cheshire-" wrote: I think Online dating is both good and bad. It's good because you get to meet people from around the world you may have never met in your area. Say you're in canada and you meet someone all the way in asia. Online dating is great in that way. It can be bad because sometimes they could be fake, or you may never be able to actually see them. Some people who online date have met each other and even got married, living amazing lives. People who online date sk_pe and message/comfort each other in all sorts of different ways. Though they can't actually be there for them, their words are good enough to place a smile on their face. There is nothing good about it. You don't know anything about the person. They could be lying about everything. Also if you decide to meet up somewhere, you could find out that the person is dangerous and then they could hurt you. Well that is your opinion. I think it is  great thing. Especially for someone like me who can't really speak to people outside the internet.  
reply 7 minutes
loddywho
loddywho posted in General:
How to go to sleep: Use a sleepmask and earplugs, (don't worry if they fall out in the night) and keep a night light near your bed that isn't LED, just normal light. If your parents room is by yours, ask them to keep their light on until you go to sleep. Hope this helps!
reply 8 minutes
noordinarygirl
noordinarygirl posted in General:
"-Karpov-" wrote: "noordinarygirl" wrote: And how, exactly, can a hat be fluffy? Psh, ushankas are fluffy. Hats can absolutely be fluffy :D "noordinarygirl" wrote: Let's move on to details, shall we? Don't be too ridiculously generous with them...but don't bombard readers with unnecessary descriptions. Instead, try to find a happy medium between the two extremes. I think this is the most important thing for aspiring writers to learn. Even an interesting character will sound dull if you can't translate them to paper well. Yes, they can. cx However, the type of hat was not clarified and so it made the sentence sound awkward. That's exactly my point, thank you.
reply 13 minutes
loddywho
loddywho posted in Debating:
Funny! It also raises awareness for ALS! And it helps word spread fast since people are being nominated!
reply 21 minutes
-Karpov-
-Karpov- posted in General:
"noordinarygirl" wrote:And how, exactly, can a hat be fluffy? Psh, ushankas are fluffy. Hats can absolutely be fluffy :D "noordinarygirl" wrote:Let's move on to details, shall we? Don't be too ridiculously generous with them...but don't bombard readers with unnecessary descriptions. Instead, try to find a happy medium between the two extremes. I think this is the most important thing for aspiring writers to learn. Even an interesting character will sound dull if you can't translate them to paper well.
reply 24 minutes

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

157262_(2)

When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...

100x100_ra_logo_girl

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

_thumb_100x100

Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...