Any Children’s Day in Japan? When and How do Japanese Celebrate?




Do you have Children’s Day in your country? How do you celebrate? This post summarizes how Japanese celebrate Children’s Day.



This post shows how to rent beautiful Kimono while visiting Kyoto → How to Rent Kimono in Kyoto


If you have a big tattoo on your body, you might be refused to go into hot spring in Japan →  Why Hot Springs in Japan Don’t Accept Tattoos?




History of Children’s Day in Japan

Originally came from China, Children’s Day was called “Tango no Sekku” (端午の節句) and it was a day to get rid of bad luck and wish healthy life.

Japanese adapted the custom during Nara era (710-794) and the meaning of Children’s Day has been modified.

It was also called Boy’s Day, as opposed to Girl’s Day on March 3rd.


Japanese still use “Tango no sekku” but Japanese government changed its name to Children’s Day (Kodomo no Hi) in 1948.


When the government set Children’s Day as national holiday, the concept changed.

Children’s Day became a day to celebrate the happiness of all children and show gratitude toward their mothers.



When is Children’s Day in Japan?

Japanese celebrate Children’s Day on May 5th.


It’s national holiday and a part of the golden week (GW).

At the beginning of Tango no sekku, the date was based on lunar calender.

In 1948, Children’s Day was set on May 5th and it has not changed since then.



Some parents might take children to a short trip if they are off.

Some clothing stores or department stores may have Children’s Day Sales.


What is Golden Week Like in Japan? → What is Golden Week? When in 2018?



What do Japanese Children do on Children’s Day?


So what do children do on Kodomo no Hi?

Children basically don’t have to do anything.


They just enjoy their favorite food that their parents prepare and spend time with the parents.


It’s a day for children, so they don’t have to get gifts for parents.



How do Japanese Parents Celebrate Children’s Day?

Koinobori (carp-shaped flag)


Many parents raise the carp-shaped flag, koinobori and wish their boys to be strong and healthy.

In Chinese legend, a carp was a symbol of strength and achievement and Japanese also adapted the idea.


They also display Boy’s dolls, Gogatsu Ningyo or traditional military helmet, Kabuto.

Some dolls wear the helmet and looks like a warrior or Samurai.

Boy’s dolls and the Kabuto also symbolize strength, achievement and protection from any harm.


Boy’s Doll



Kabuto (traditional military helmet)


The parents usually cook something their children love. Or they might eat out. Depending on families, the way of celebrating varies.





Parents always wish their children to be happy and healthy. On Children’s Day, they celebrate the happiness of Children.


To sum up;

・Children’s Day comes from China

・It was celebrated to getting rid of bad luck and wishing healthy life

・It is May 5th and national holiday

・Some Parents display a carp-shaped flag, Boy’s doll or traditional military helmet


Items for Children’s Day could cost a lot. For example, the carp-shaped flag may cost 50,000 yen and Kabuto may cost over 300,000 yen (!!)

It really depends on quality and brand.

I don’t think expensive items are necessary but some parents buy to express their wish and love.









This post show how to rent beautiful Kimono while visiting Kyoto → How to Rent Kimono in Kyoto


If you have a big tattoo on your body, you might be refused to go into hot spring in Japan →  Why Hot Springs in Japan Don’t Accept Tattoos?



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