FESTIVAL OF STRENGTH AND COURAGE
An integral part of the tradition of any nation is the glorification of the relics of his warriors, defenders of ancestral lands, the keepers of the hearth. The birth of a child is always a great joy for parents, but the boy appeared in the family – a subject of special pride. He will be the heir in the male line, will be the mainstay of the elderly mother and father.
Long ago a man in a Japanese family was the head, it depended on the welfare of family and friends, he was a tactician and strategist not only on the battlefield, but in civilian life. Today it is not so clear, however, the tradition of celebrating Boys ‘ Day (tango but sekku Celebration of the first day of the Horse) on the fifth day of the fifth month, i.e. the 5th of may, remains the same, as the attributes of this wonderful holiday.
In ancient China, during the reign of the Han dynasty ( III century BC – III century ad) originated the custom to gather herbs and wormwood ritual dolls. The rite was aimed at ensuring prosperity at home, and that child grew up strong and healthy.
In Japan the ritual penetrated in the first century ad and for a long time was not fixed by date. Only in the seventh century this day was celebrated on 5th day of 5 month of the lunar calendar. It was a very busy time of the year in agriculture: major fields planted rice, sown different kinds of beans, dobralas soil. The dishes prepared that day, had a deep symbolic meaning: rice balls, wrapped in leaves of iris or bamboo (temaki) symbolized health and vitality, rice wrapped in oak leaves (Kashiwa-mochi) – longevity, and rice with red beans (sekihan) – health. On this day throughout Japan held many different competitions in strength and agility between men and boys. Of the eighth century the celebration of boys is a military-sports festival. Often seen at competitions in archery, wrestling and fighting with swords was the Emperor.
Over time the boys Holiday all the more intense incorporates the paraphernalia of military action and samurai traditions. In traditional item sets, paradisa boy at birth, include toy samurai helmets, spears, halberds, banners… Then an integral part of these symbolic sets become dolls.
Set place on three levels-shelves, covered with a cloth: top shelf – a place to put helmets and armor, as well as the flag with the symbols of family or clan; on the second shelf are fans, swords, bottles of sake; for dolls representing boys and young soldiers, is third level. Boys up to 15 years old gather at this home show and listen to the stories of parents about each of the objects and its symbolic value. To go with puppets and items you need very carefully – after all, often they are inherited.
Animal, has long been considered the epitome of the Holiday boys – carp. Often he is depicted as overcoming the powerful mountain stream or even waterfall jumping, which should testify to his power and fearlessness. Inflatable carp with sticks and banners can be seen in large numbers near the houses where boys live.
The boys ‘ holiday has another name – Cebu-but sekku, the iris Festival. Iris – a flower that has long been attributed magical properties. The shape of the leaf of the iris resembles a sword. In the early seventeenth century appeared the race of the competitions: boys competing to see who the loudest clap on the earth with beam of these leaves. Floral arrangement using iris and some other strict and direct colors is a symbol of the Holiday.
To our days the traditions and paraphernalia of the Celebration remained almost unchanged. But on may 5 in modern Japan is also a Celebration of all children.