Join us for a day of fun, family friendly activities as we celebrate Children's Day - Kodomo no Hi - at the Japanese Friendship Garden! Activities are free with admission!
Children’s day is a national Japanese holiday celebrated on May 5th. Traditionally, this day was known as Boys Day and was set aside to honor fathers and sons, much as Girls Day on March 3 celebrates mothers and daughters. However in 1948, Boys Day was changed to Children’s Day to celebrate the happiness of all children and express gratitude towards both parents. As many Japanese families still celebrate Girls Day in March, it is common for Children’s Day to center around traditional Boys Day decorations and activities, such as the flying of Koinobori and the display of a Kintaro doll and Kabuto helmet.
In Japanese, the word Koinobori means “carp streamer” and represent the fish in many different colors. These carp shaped wind socks are traditionally flown in Japan in celebration of Kodomo no Hi, or Children’s day. In Japan, carp are considered the most spirited fish who fight their way upstream using their strength and determination, overcoming all obstacles in their path. Because of this combination of power and dedication they represent courage and goal achievement. Traditionally, these qualities were highly desirable for boys so in turn. the koinobori were flown every year on May 5th to inspire these qualities. In 1948, Boy’s Day was changed to Children’s Day and made a national holiday. Today, the flying of the koinobori is done to honor the future of all children in hopes that they up healthy and strong.