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Celebrating Children’s Day - Kodomo No Hi

Last Friday, we shared about Golden Week in Japan, which is the biggest week-long national holiday. People look forward to this all year round to take a well-deserved break from work!

The little ones at home also get to enjoy a special national holiday dedicated to them, as May 5th is all about celebrating children:

Children’s Day - Kodomo No Hi

So the tradition originally started after World War 2, to lift people’s spirits. Fast forward to today, it’s a day where everyone celebrates the happiness of children, sending well wishes to kids around the country. 

On this special day, Japanese homes and streets are decorated with colourful koi fish kites called ‘koinobori’ as a sign of good luck to all children. In Japan, koi fish are considered to be very determined and strong minded, as they're able to swim up against the stream (but so can salmon…hmmm…) which is why I guess it’s been chosen to celebrate this day! 

Have you ever seen them in Japan? Just picture the streets filled with koinobori flying in the sky with families enjoying the sunny spring weather! It’s such a lovely scene if you’re ever there and you’re in a tall building overlooking a residential area as they’re everywhere. 

I remember when I was child, nothing made me happier than when I would get to eat my favourite food. Actually, that very much remains the case now too haha. 

So on Children's day, it’s all about that! Many families take the opportunity to go for a picnic, make food together while others opt for arts and crafts and generally enjoy family time.

We typically will eat Kashiwa Mochi, a rice cake stuffed with red bean paste and wrapped in oak leaves too; a small, sweet treat which is loved by every kid in Japan.

While it’s not a bank holiday today here in the UK, perhaps you’ll join those in Japan by celebrating with a little cooking session or why not show your kids a picture of ‘koinobori’ (pictured) for them to draw before tea time?

Stuck for dinner ideas? 

I highly recommend you try making our Gyoza Dumplings Kits, for a fun, bonding activity to do as a family. They're delicious and super easy to make, as the recipe box comes with everything you need to make the juiciest gyozas, including a pre-made filling using our home-made recipe. 

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