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Koinobori Matsuri – Festival for Japanese boys

by Kelly
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Koinobori Matsuri (also called Tango no Sekku) is celebrated on May 5th. In Japan, this day is called Boys’ Festival. It’s been celebrated for over a millennium. Originally it was celebrated in the houses of warriors. It celebrated boys’ courage and determination. Many of the symbols of this day are about having the character of a warrior. Eventually this day became important to all households in Japan with boys.

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History and customs


Koinobori, carp windsocks, streamers or banners, decorate the landscape of Japan from April through early May, in honor of the Children’s Day. In Japanese culture, the carp symbolizes courage and strength because of its ability to swim up a waterfall.

The Boys’ Festival was originally an event, expressing hope that each boy in the family will grow up healthy and strong like wild carps.

During this festival, people set up a warrior doll or a yoroi armor set in the house, and Koinobori, large carp-shaped windsocks, outside the house.

The Japaneae word “Koinobori” is a conbination of 2 original words, koi and nobori. “Koi” means a carp and “Nobori” means a banner or flag.

Where to go?

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The most distinguished impression is thousands of kites flown on the sky. Here’s 3 attractive spots to see them:

The first one is in Tokyo Sky Tree, where every year in the spring season you can see about 1,500 Koinobori.

The second one is in Tokyo Midtown, where you can enter through the long Koinobori whose length is about 25 meters. And you can enjoy making original Koinobori by yourselves from 700 yen (small size).

The third one is in Tokyo Tower, named after the length of tower, 333m, 333 Koinobori are hung up every year from the end of March to the fifth of May.


Tango no Sekku | BOOK OF DAYS TALES

Kashiwa mochi and Chimaki is the food eaten in event.

Kashiwa-mochi are a type of traditional Japanese sweet. They are made from a sweet anko (bean paste) filling surrounded by mochi (a type of soft rice cake made from rice flour), and wrapped in a kashiwa oak leaf. Owing to the fact that the old leaves do not fall from kashiwa oak trees until the new buds come through, they are said to bear good luck for the prosperity of one’s descendants.

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