【Culture】”Tango no Sekku” – Sweet Flag Festival for the Boys’ Healthy Growth2015.05.05


Tango no Sekku” is also called “Kodomo no hi,” the children’s day to celebrate and pray for children’s healthy growth which is on May 5th. The day is set as a National Holiday.

It originally came from a country named Chu in 200-300 years B.C. in China. A popular politician, Qu Yuan fell from the power and killed himself. People in Chu threw cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves, called “Chimaki,” so that fishes did not eat his body. This was the episode which was thought to be the beginning of the custom.

Many people since back in the day have tended to get sick and pass away during this time of the year. People called May as a “poisonous month” and set medical herb sweet flag which was considered to purify evil and remove the negative vibes in front of house or take bath with sweet flag , called “Shoubu yu.” These customs still remain today.

The event, picking medical herb to remove the negative vibes, has linked to the cerebration for boy’s birth in Kamakura era. The custom spread not only for warrior class but general public. People decorate their houses with samurai armor, known as “Kabuto” and warrior dolls. In the trend of these times, “Tango no Sekku” had been cerebrated pray for boys to grow up brave and strong. Carps are considered being strong fishes that jump up waterfalls in Japan. “Koinobori,”the motif of Carp windsock, are hung up in the sky for sons in a family, wishing to grow up as strong as carp.

Today, it is considered the cerebration for all kids.

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