Thursday, April 5, 2012

Boys Festival & Carp Streamer

(posted; Japanese culture)
May 5th is Children's Day or Boys Festival, traditionally a holiday in Japan and people start decorating two items to pray for the growth of boys around this time of the year. One is the armor ←link and the other is Carp streamer ←link.

Quoted from these two pages (wikipedia, Carp Streamer)
Koinobori, meaning "carp streamer" in Japanese, are carp-shaped wind socks traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Tango no Sekku (端午の節句), a traditional calendrical event which is now designated a national holiday; Children's Day Landscapes across Japan are decorated with koinobori from April to early May, in honor of sons and in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong.

*The reason of why carp is used for the design 
The carp design is derived from a Chinese legend. In the legend, a carp which could successfully run up against a waterfall becomes a dragon (in Japan, it is believed that there are millions of gods and dragon is thought to be one of them). From this legend, carp is thought to be a symbol of success and people in Japan began to fly Carp Streamers to wish their child future success.

There are many places we can enjoy these displays

carp streamer decorated outside of  the very old Japanese house

I've realized that these lovely carp streamers are not decorated as many as some decades ago. They makes us feel warm; thinking there is a boy in the house and the thoughts of the parents. Although it might be a tough job taking them out and put them back, I hope people keep following this lovely custom.
We also have "Girls' Day" or " Doll Festival" ←link , you can see  how we celebrate for girls from my page


  1. Dear friend Miyako, I'm sure we all enjoy hearing about all these lovely, old Japanese traditions. All those carp displays must look wonderful to see, flying from the houses. It is a nice thought as you say, hoping for the sons to grow big and strong. BUT - I can't help thinking about the little girls too. I don't suppose they have a day just for them so, even now, the world can be quite male orientated at times! Sending hugs from West to East. Take care.

  2. To, Dearest Diane.
    Oh, I added the link of my former post about "girls' festival"♪
    Haha, I quite agree with what you said about world tend to be "male orientated". I AM glad we have ours here as well♡♡♡
    Many Hugs to you, too. Love, Miyako*

  3. Dear Miyako - Eeeek! I must have missed that post about the Girls' Festival my friend. Thank you so much for including the link. I have now read it, and I feel much better that they are also included in your culture. Hee Hee!

  4. I, like Diane, so enjoy your wonderful posts on the different holidays and celebrations in your lovely country, my dear friend Miyako. I've seen those carp flags flying pictures before, and never knew what they were about. Thank you for elightening us with yet another informative and entertaining post! Have a terrifc day, my friend!

  5. Miyako, I did not know that about the Carp but there is much I do not know about your traditions but i always enjoy so much learning from your blog....thank you sweet friend

  6. What a wonderful tradition and such happy colors on those flying carp.
    I too hope the tradition continues.
    I dislike changes in life ( maybe it's my age) but it is a comfort to kniw we still do things the way our family members always did.
    Thank you for sharing this and Hoppy Easter.
    Love & Hugs

  7. Dear Miyako,
    What a lovely tradition - and such nice flying carps in beautiful colors. You seems to have many nice traditions there :) Thank you so much for sharing.
    And wishing you a lovely weekend ahead.
    Big hugs - Eva x

  8. Dearest Miyako,

    Lovely tradition and great photos with info you show.
    Just finished reading this great post about the Japanese Cherry Blossoms:
    Enjoy, it is so pretty right now in your country... Wish I could be there as it is my favorite tree blossom. I had to leave a double blooming Prúnus serruláta 'Kiku-Shidare-sakura' behind...
    Love to you,


  9. trekking your blog!!! now i know.. carp is a symbol of success.. that's why many of the business here do have aquariums with carps..


  10. I found your blog while searching on info about "Boy's Day". Living in the SF Bay Area, I've seen the carp flying but didn't know the meaning behind the tradition.

    I'm going to view some of your other posts now, I expect they will be interesting