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Shichi-Go-San Festival, Seven-Five-Three Ceremony

Chifuyu Omma from Japan

Young girl in traditiional clothes
Photo: Luke Robinson
A young Japanese girl dressed up for the Shichi-Go-San Ceremony, which is celebrated on November 15.

A place in my memory is a shrine. In Japan, November 15 is Shichi-Go-San (seven, five, three) ceremony.

That means girls at seven years, boys at five years, and boys and girls at three years are celebrated at a shrine to show appreciation for good growth and wishes for better growth for future.

When I was three years old, I also went to a shrine with my mother and her friend. A Shinto priest at the shrine gave the children omiki, which is like rice wine.

When I drank it, I thought it tasted very good. So I told him, "Give me another one, please!" Nobody spoke, and my mother behind me was surprised and embarrassed.

This is a very embarrassing memory, but at the same time it was my first experience drinking alcohol. After that I stayed away from alcoholic drinks!

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