Children's Day in Japan in 2023

Children's Day in Japan in 2023

  How long until Children's Day?
Children's Day
  Dates of Children's Day in Japan
2024 May 5, May 6
JapanMon, May 6National Holiday (in lieu)
JapanSun, May 5National Holiday
2023 Japan Fri, May 5 National Holiday
2022 Japan Thu, May 5 National Holiday
2021 Japan Wed, May 5 National Holiday
2020 Japan Tue, May 5 National Holiday

This is a day set aside to respect childrens personalities and to celebrate their happiness

  Local name
Kodomo no hi

When is Children's Day?

As part of Golden Week, Children's Day Festival (Kodomo no Hi) is traditionally celebrated on May 5th, the fifth of the fifth. 'Kodomo' means child, 'no' means for, and 'hi' means day.

It is a day set aside to respect children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness.

Traditions of Children's Day in Japan

It was designated a National holiday by the Japanese government in 1948, but it has been a day of celebration in Japan since ancient times. Tango no Sekku was historically set as a festival for boys on the 5th day of the 5th month.

Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging up koinobori (fabric carp-shaped wind sock streamers) and displaying samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power and success in life.

The koinobori are colourful carp streamers that are hung outside homes in the hope that children will grow up strong and successful. The carp as a symbol of vitality is also said to date to China, to the myth of the carp who swims upstream through a mighty river and becomes a dragon.

The most famous koinobori display can be found at Tokyo Tower. Here, exactly 333 carp are flown as a nod to the tower’s height of 333 meters. 

Special treats on Children's Day include eating kashiwamochi (rice cakes filled with bean paste and wrapped in oak leaves). There is also a custom called shobu-yu, of bathing in a hot bath with iris leaves, as a way of dispelling illness and misfortune.

Until recently, it was known as Boys' Day while Girls' Day (Hinamatsuri) was celebrated on March 3rd.

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.

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