Children’s day in Japan. Foreign life
Throughout the world there are holidays for kids and children. It’s as natural as childbirth itself. But of course, in each country these holidays have their own unique features. Citi-go-San Matsuri is one of the most colorful festivals in Japan.
It is celebrated on 15 November, specifically around November 15, for have always employed Japanese adults have little free time. So we go the kids are on holiday for a few days, and even months before and after. The closer to the holiday, especially on the weekends – the more families decide to have their children to city-go-San Matsuri.
In this day, people visit Shinto temples to thank the gods for the health and happiness of children. Before Citi-go-San had a certain value – the boys in 5 years for the first time were allowed to wear trousers “hakama”, and to stand before the elders in adult clothes. Girls in years 7 also it was allowed for the first time to wear a belt for kimono – Obi. And in three years all children received the rite of conservation of hair (before that in childhood their shaved bald), when the oldest member of the family presented them a symbol of white hair – a bundle of raw silk. Then children get up in “real” clothes, doing hair, makeup, and led to the temple.
The tradition to celebrate Citi-go-San Matsuri is rooted in the distant history, in the Heian period (794-1185 years). It was then aristocratic to know was to celebrate the maturing of their children. Later, in the days of the Shogunate, but rather from the kamakura period 1185-1333, the holiday was celebrated on Wednesday of the samurai, and after it became popular and the rest of the population. After the Meiji restoration of 1867-68, day 15 of November was chosen for the official celebration Citi-go-San Matsuri. But since this day is not a national holiday, the tradition of the churches before and after, especially in November, firmly established in Japanese society.
Once I asked my Japanese friend how they celebrate Citi-go-San in their family. “We Christians,” he replied. “So not celebrating?”, – I was surprised. “Why? – a Japanese man puzzled stare at me. – Going to Church, dress up outfits and celebrate all together.” As you can see, the holiday has already passed, not only age, but also religious restrictions. And that’s probably good because the holiday should be available to all children.
Today in November all large churches into magical playgrounds. Thousands of young visitors in colorful robes fill the temple courtyards, are lining up to the hot chestnuts and teasing mom and dad about the delicious candy. By the way, the sweets in this holiday special, too – chitosane (candy thousands of years), long the toffees in colourful bags with images of turtles and cranes. These butterscotch symbolize wishes for a long life.
Traditional attire is an important part of Citi-go-San Matsuri. For boys it’s “jacket” haori and “trousers” hakama, for girls – a special festive kimono. Some of the little “samurai” wearing formidable armor and helmets and even tied to the belt of toy swords. However, one can often meet European clothes and uniforms, especially if children come to the feast not for the first time.
Citi-go-San Matsuri for many years, continues to enjoy great popularity – not least because the children themselves. But many Japanese people in those days just come to admire the autumn scenery and to marvel at an unusual baby outfits. And the heroes of the day who are embarrassed and who Zavadnikov, posing fussy excited parents with cameras.