May the 5th is "Tango-no-Sekku" day, representing one of the 24 seasonal periods of Japan.

In the old days, "Hinamatsuri" was for girls' festival and "Tango-no-Sekku" was the festival for boys. When a boy was born, miniature ornaments such as traditional arms, armors, helmets, and warrior dolls were displayed in commemoration of the boy's first "Sekku."

Big cloth streamers in the shape of carp are hoisted high in the air--as though they were swimming up against a torrent--with wishes for the healthy and strong growth of children.

Today, the "Tango-no-Sekku" is a national holiday called "Children's Day." We celebrate the day wishing for the healthy growth and development of children all over the world. And on this day it is also a tradition to eat "Kashiwa-mochi."

On those days, while looking up at the sky, one can see, here and there, blue- and red-colored carp streamers swimming vividly in the clear air of May. We had celebrated the first "Tango-no-Sekku" of our son by displaying worrier helmets we prepared for him as well as those presented by my parents. Our son is quite grown up now and has not lived with us for many years. But we still display the helmets and have "Kashiwa-mochi" every year as if he were right beside us.

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