Children's Day

Something festive is in the air! Around this time, households are flying kites in the shape of carp on their porch or balcony. This was originally called Boys Day
but after 1948 they included girls too to make it Children's Day. My students told me that the biggest carp on the pole is for the father, the red one is for the mother, and the remaining ones represent the children in the family. Here's an example of a 3-member family.
The carp represents endurance and strength because it has to swim upstream fighting waterfalls, currents, and being caught by fishermen. So families wish for the same qualities in their children.

Children's Day is the first in a string of 3 holidays that make Golden Week. Most businesses are closed and many people go on vacation or to their hometowns. As a result, today was very quiet day with no giggling girls on the street or scooters whizzing by my house!
Tomorrow I'm going to the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa, to visit a friend from the Monterey Institute (check out their new website! its about time) who's originally from there. She works long and hard in Tokyo, so its a treat to get to see her for a whole day. Look forward to some beautiful scenery pictures when I return on Friday!

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