Kodomo no hi 子供の日 (Children's day) May 5

May 5 is Japan's national holiday known as, Kodomo no hi 子供の日 (Children's day). It is a day to celebrate the health and happiness of children. Until 1948, it was called, "Tango no Sekku (端午の節句)", and only honored boys. Although this holiday became known as, "Children's Day", many Japanese still consider it a Boy's Festival. On the other hand, "Hinamatsuri (ひな祭り)", which falls on March 3rd, is a day to celebrate girls.  Families with boys fly "Koinobori 鯉のぼり (carp-shaped streamers)", to express the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong. The carp is a symbol of strength, courage, and success. 
Kashiwamochi is one of the traditional foods that are eaten on this day. It is a steamed rice cake with sweet beans inside and is wrapped in an oak leaf. Another traditional food is, chimaki, which is a dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves.

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