We have just observed Children’s day, which is a national holiday, on May 5. It used to be called Boys Day, on which people celebrated the well-being and healthy growth of boys.
Here is a quick rundown of the festival. In the country side, especially, you will see a number of banners in the shape of carps hoisted on a front yard pole, a clear indication that parents are celebrating their son or sons. Inside their house, they set up a colorful samurai armor. And, special sweets go with the festival, such as rice cakes of various sizes and flavors.
Nowadays, it is a luxury to have big enough banners hoisted in your front yard that do not infringe on your neighbor’s premises.
For city dwellers, it is becoming the norm to enjoy seeing the banners at parks; the photo on the right was taken at “Kodomono-kuni,” or Children’s Land in the northern part of Yokohama on April 17, 2011.
This photo dated May 5, 2011, shows my younger son and his first son aged five months at my place; they are in front of a samurai armor displayed on a stand and are putting on newspaper-made samurai helmets (which I made).
I’m looking forward to next year’s festival, in which my second grandson (my elder son’s boy is expected this August) will join us.