Kodomo no Hi, Children’s Day
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Included with Garden admission
Children’s Day has its roots in an older observance on the fifth day of the fifth month of the year: Tango no Sekku, a day for young samurai to honor the traditions of their warrior fathers and grandfathers and learn about the virtues of courage, loyalty, perseverance, and honor. Samurai families displayed suits of armor and heirloom swords, boys took part in mock battles, and family crests flew proudly from banners on bamboo poles above the rooftops of their homes. After World War II, the festival was broadened to include all children and renamed Kodomo no Hi, or Children’s Day.
Shorinji Kempo Portland Branch
As celebrated in Japan today on May 5, Children’s Day festivities now emphasize the health and well-being of all children, and events have expanded to include athletic meets for boys and girls and outdoor activities of all kinds. Koi remain the enduring symbol of perseverance, for like the salmon, koi swim upstream against all odds to spawn, inspiring the Chinese legend of “Climbing the Dragon Gate” in which a fearless koi swims up a waterfall to become a dragon.