Japanese Children’s Day

One of the most popular national holidays in Japan, Kodomo no hi or Children’s Day was originally known as Boys’ Day, Tango no Sekka (Festival of Banners), with girls having their own day, Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival). To lift the spirits of the Japanese people after the Second World War, the Japanese government in 1948 re-named Boys’ Day in honour of all children, to celebrate their happiness, wellbeing and progress. The festival, which takes place on May 5th, is also an occasion for children to thank and respect parents, relatives and teachers.

The day is celebrated by the flying of koinobori flags and kites, especially outside the homes of boys. The flags are made in the shape of carp fish, which look as if they are swimming when they flutter in the breeze. Because carp are known for their ability to swim upstream, they symbolize courage and determination. Ask children to talk about whether they have been brave or have persevered to learn how to do something.

Koinobori flags are cylindrical in shape and can be huge in size. They are made of cotton painted in vibrant colors. Search for pictures of the flags online to show the children and help them to make their own very simple kite versions, as well as pictures of real carp – ask children to look carefully at the shape of the carp’s bodies and tail fins, and the pattern of the scales on their skin. Children can draw their own carp shapes on colored tissue paper and decorate them using colored felt-tipped pens. They can then cut them out and attach each one to a piece of wool 20cm long, attached at the mouth end with sticky tape. Encourage children to run outside, holding up their ‘kites’ to flutter behind them.

Kodomo No Hi is also a great opportunity to kick off an exploration of the Olympics…

In Japan, Children’s Day celebrates healthy eating and physical fitness, and there are picnics and children’s plays to enjoy. Thousands of children compete in the ‘Kids’ Olympics’ held at the national Kasumigaoka stadium in Tokyo. 

Our Environmental students made their own Komodo No Hi for every member of their family. They are hung around EISB ground floor.

Ms. Eva


Click on the link to see the whole collection of photos:)

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