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Authentic Ceremonies for Children in Japan

Chifuyu Omma  from Japan

Girls'  Day
Photo from Chifuyu Omma
A card for Girls' Day, which is held on March 3rd in Japan.

Hina-Matsuri (Girls' Day) is held on March 3rd. The parents celebrate their daughters' growth and good health on this day.

They not only celebrate, but also decorate with Hina-dolls, Emperor and Empress dolls. These dolls are displayed on seven tiers of shelves which represent dolls of prince and princes, their 3 female servants, 5 music players, 2 ministers and 3 guards working in the palace.

They have a good time drinking white rice wine, sugar rice crackers, Gomoku-sushi (mixed sushi rice), and clear clam soup.

Shichi-go-san festival is held on November 15th. Girls at 7 years, boys at 5 years and girls at 3 years are blessed at the shrine. On this day, children put on their formal wear, like traditional kimono. They show appreciation for good growth and wishes for better growth for future. The children have a candy bag which contains 3 long stick candies called Chitose-ame in their hand. To have a good memory of their record of growth, pictures are taken and put in a photo album.

carp-shaped flags
Photo: Sandy Peters
On Tango-no-Sekku (Children's Day) Families hang carp-shaped flags on high poles and eat special rice cakes and steamed sticky rice.

Chldren's Day is a national holiday. It is called Tango-no-Sekku in and is celebrated on May 5th.

It used to be a boy's day originally; thus, families with boys decorate a warrior doll with a helmet, sword, and bows with arrows.

These show parents' expectation for their sons to become brave and have good luck in the future.

They also put carp-shaped flags on the high pole.

Families celebrate with rice cakes with red bean sweets inside and wrapped by Kashiwa leaves, and steamed sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves.

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