Kodomo no Hi, or Flying Carps

  • Kodomo no Hi

    What is this? Well, it is “Children’s Day” in Japanese. In Japan, Children’s Day always takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month, and it was a national holiday in Japan since 1948. The Japanese government wants to respect their children’s personalities and celebrates their happiness.

    Talking about that day, what are the usual traditions to do on it? Going out to play with your children is, of course, the most well known activity for that day. The kite-like things in the picture are called “Koinobori”, which means, “carp streamer” in Japanese. Well, they are carp-shaped wind socks that traditionally are flown during the Children’s Day.

    It is really interesting I think. The shape and the color are very charming.

    Koinobori Song

    There is also a song everyone sings while they fly it. Here is the English translation of the song.

    Higher than the roof-tops are the koinobori
    The large carp is the father
    The smaller carp are the children
    They seem to be having fun swimming

    Isn’t it the sweetest song for children? I definitely think so!

    What does each carp stand for?

    The story of this koinobori is same as the song described. The biggest (black) koinobori is for the father; the next biggest one (red) is for the mother, and ranging down to the smallest carp for the youngest son. Although according to the Japanese American National Museum, the red one belongs to the first-born son, in Japan, many people prefer to see it as a mother.
    Isn’t it great? Japanese people really respect all parties of their family.
    In 1988 they also made the biggest koinobori, which length was 100 meters, and it’s weight was about 350 kg (made in Saitama Prefectures)

    After reading this article, I just want all of you to make some time to spend it with your children! Japanese people are always busy with their work, but they still find time to spend with their lovely family, with their children, wife, parents and other relatives.