I thought I wanted to do tiny little bits of newborns for this post, but instead decided to put a little culture in here. I love to share the tiny little bits of culture here in Okinawa, Japan. This place is a HUGE part of our lives. By the time we leave here we will have spent a total of 6 1/2 years living in Okinawa. It has become a part of us. Out two youngest children were born here. My children have grown up here. Our marriage has grown up here. It truly is a wonderful place for families. Its beautiful and always has something cultural going on. I only wish I hadn’t missed all this the last tour we had here. Don’t fret though, I am making up for it this time. I have done more in 8 months than I did in 3 1/2 years last time. I have to thank my girl Candace for
dragging taking me out with her to get all the tiny little bits that I would otherwise miss, or not know about. She’s my exploring buddy. We bring along our 4 year olds and they are the “Three Amigos” or the “Three Musketeers”. Here is a tiny little bit of the celebration they are doing right now. When you’re done here don’t forget to follow the circle of amazing photography by clicking to see Southern California Photographer Nicole Gulick
Beautiful Lily fields are planted and a gorgeous sight to see. We found some pretty cute zombies among the fields. I would say watch out for them, but we brought them home with us they were so cute.
Children’s Day (こどもの日 Kodomo no Hi?) is a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month, and is part of the Golden Week. It is a day set aside to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness. It was designated a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948.
The day was originally called Tango no Sekku (端午の節句?), and was celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th moon in the lunar calendar or Chinese calendar. After Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar, the date was moved to May 5. It was originally exclusively male celebrating boys and recognizing fathers, but has since been changed to include both boys and girls, as well as recognizing mothers along with fathers.
Until recently, Tango no Sekku was known as Boys’ Day (also known as Feast of Banners) while Girls’ Day (Hinamatsuri) was celebrated on March 3. In 1948, the government decreed this day to be a national holiday to celebrate the happiness of all children and to express gratitude toward mothers. It was renamed Kodomo no Hi.
On this day, families raise the carp-shaped koinobori flags (carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, and the way the flags blow in the wind looks like they are swimming), with one carp for the father, one for the mother, and one carp for each child (traditionally each son). Families also display a Kintarō doll usually riding on a large carp, and the traditional Japanese military helmet, kabuto, due to their tradition as symbols of strength and vitality.
Kintarō (金太郎?) is the childhood name of Sakata no Kintoki who was a hero in the Heian period, a subordinate samurai of Minamoto no Raikou, having been famous for his strength when he was a child. It is said that Kintarō rode a bear, instead of a horse, and played with animals in the mountains when he was a young boy.
Mochi rice cakes wrapped in kashiwa (oak) leaves—kashiwa-mochi (mochi filled with red bean jam) and chimaki (a kind of “sweet rice paste”, wrapped in an iris or bamboo leaf)—are traditionally served on this day.
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