May 05, 2006

A Boy's Day Custom

Today is Boy's Day. It is kodomo-no-hi which means "children's day". Our family translates it as Boy's Day because we have a boy in our family. Girl's Day is in March. Here's another picture of a koinobori.

Tonight, some children will wear shobu wrapped around their heads in the bath. Shobu are the long leaves pictured here next to the dollar bill. Wearing it in the bath on this day is an old custom. What does it mean? It started as a way of protecting children from evil spirits and disease. It is also said to keep poisonous bugs and snakes away. The smell is said to have a calming effect. What does it smell like? To me, it smells like a buttery cake. Big Sister and Little Brother don't agree, but we all agree that it's a nice smell. I'm sure there are many children and adults who are not aware of the meaning of wearing it. In fact, Papa had to look it up on the internet to be sure. To him, it's always been something fun to do. That's the way it is with a lot of customs, isn't it?

Kids Web Japan-- Children's Day

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