May 5th is coming up; it is one of the main Japanese holidays called Tango no Sekku, also known as Children’s day or Boys’ festival.

It’s a few days early but my mom is visiting us right now and wanted to celebrate it with her before she has to leave, so we had a small celebration yesterday.

It usually involves eating traditional sweets like Kashiwa Mochi (Sweet rice cake wrapped in an oak leaf), and putting up Koi Nobori (flying carps made of fabric) outside, decorating a main room with a traditional armor helmet and an armor. (The pictures below show the bigger scale of the decorations but many families with sons own small versions of these fabulous displays in the house)

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Display of traditional decorations for May 5th in Haneda Airport in Tokyo (photo credit: my lovely mother)
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Koi Nobori display at Haneda Airport (photo credit: my lovely mother)

The reason for displaying these brilliant / extraordinary decorations is to wish for a boy’s health and bravery for the year to come.

I have an older brother so this was something we hugely celebrated every year in our family as I was growing up. Now I have two sons, I knew this would be a main holiday in our family. Only downside is that it is harder to get things here in Canada. Those rice cakes are hard to find here and I haven’t seen any department stores here selling armor and helmets… or flying carps!

My parents were nice enough to send my boys small version of the carps and some armor helmet decorations.

 

If you look carefully, you can see the origami helmets on the boys’ heads. When we were younger, my parents taught my brother and me to fold our own origami helmets out of newspaper. So that’s what I have done with my boys last year and this year as well.

I put together an infographic of how I folded these Japanese style armor helmets out of newspaper down below! If you want to have fun with your kids and make them, they are pretty easy and fun to wear!

OrigamiJapanese Style Armor Helmet

 

I hope I can keep up with celebrating Japanese holidays with my family even though we are in Canada. My husband is born and raised in Canada, and my boys will be living here so I want them to experience all the Canadian holidays and traditions as well, but as much as we can, we want our boys to celebrate their Japanese heritage, and I would like to show them how I grew up.

Thank you so much for reading!

 

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