As I described back in March for ohinamatsuri, people in Hawai‘i celebrate many Japanese holidays, some of which are no longer observed in quite the same way as their country of origin.
On May 5th, households would fly banners in the shape of carp for every male member of the household. Carp, or koi, symbolize luck, perseverance and strength. The Japanese used to call the holiday Tango no Sekku (端午の節句); tango has multiple meanings. Tan can mean “edge” or “first” and go can be translated as “noon.” Sekku means “seasonal holiday;” and May 5th is one of five official Japanese sekku. In Japan, the holiday has been converted to recognize kids in general and has been renamed Kodomo No Hi (こどもの日), or just plain Children’s Day. But Hawai‘i and rural parts of Japan stubbornly adhere to the old ways.
Happy Boy’s Day to our favorite bunch of boys!