Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kodomo no hi

by aleks

Yesterday we had another joyful celebration of Children's Day (Kodomo no hi) in Seattle Japanese Garden: the kids were making origami, sun hats, carp sock streamers and created their own zen gardens.

SJG • 5/26/14 - origami and hat making

The children enjoyed feeding the koi fish on the bridge and were entertained by Mimibunko Puppet Theatre performances and Kaze Taiko Drummers; upon leaving they were receiving a sweet Japanese treat (no food in the Garden) to make the memory of the fun last a few minutes longer.

SJG • 5/26/14 - koi feeding

I found this description of Kodomo no hi on Asia Kids Society website - while copying it below I noted  that it included Koinobori Song - something we should incorporate into future celebrations, theach children this sweet song or at least play it by the table where they make koinobori:

SJG • 5/26/14 - my first zen garden

Koinobori Song

Yane yori takai koinobori
Ookii magoi wa otousan
Chiisai higoi wa kodomotachi
Omoshirosouni oyoideru 

The koinobori are higher than the rooftops
The big black carp is the father
The small golden-red carp is the child
How pleasing it is to swim!
Children are stars. Fish fly. Schools have the day off.

Every May 5, it is Kodomo no Hi or "Children’s Day" in Japan. Families fly koinobori banners in the shape of a carp (a type of fish) for each child in their house. In Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination and vigor, overcoming all obstacles to swim upstream. Samurai warrior figurines and samurai kabuto helmets are also displayed in homes to inspire strength and bravery.

SJG • 5/26/14 -koinobori making

Children indulge in kashiwa-mochi, sticky rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves, and other sweets. Around the country there are many events for children and families. Children take center stage in traditional Japanese plays. Thousands of children compete in the "Kids' Olympics" held at the National Kasumigaoka Stadium in Tokyo. Children also use the day to thank and show respect for the teachers, parents, and relatives who care for them.

SJG • 5/26/14 - Mimibunko Puppet Theatre

Until 1948, May 5 was called Tango no sekku and only honored boys. A separate holiday called Hinamatsuri or "Dolls' Day" celebrated girls on March 3. […]

SJG • 5/26/14 - Kaze Taiko Drummers

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