Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Carp Streamers

Carp sreamers

May 5th is Children's day in Japan. Coming at the end of the Golden Week, it's a time to celebrate the blessings of children, particularly boys. There are several traditions that go along with this day. Families with boys display beautifully ornate models of samurai armour. Children eat "Kashiwa Mochi": special rice cakes stuffed with sweet bean paste wrapped in a leaf.

Carp Streamers again

But probably the most fascinating of these traditions is the flying of the carp streamers. Many families in the countryside have large poles erected in their yards to fly the stramers from. If I remember correctly, they fly one large one to represent the father, and smaller ones for each son. The carp is a ceremonial fish, said to represent long life and good health.

Carp sreamers

Many cities also have lines and lines of carp streamers in parks as well. Some of these lines can be up to 50 meters long, with dozens of colourful streamers waving gently in the breeze.

Balcony Carp Streamers

Even families without fields to erect a pole in fly their carp streamers. These ones were hung up on the balcony of an apartment building near my place. Tradition is tradition, after all.


At 12:49 a.m., Blogger Azhar said...

shot 1 & 3 are way too noisy, and shot 4 is bolurry.I like shot 2 :)

At 8:57 a.m., Blogger Stardog Champion said...

Yeah, I wasn't entirely happy with all of the shots, but this goal of this post was more to tell a story than to show off my pictures. I would have left the fourth picture out, but I thought it rounded out the story nicely.

BTW: you might be interested to know that pics 2 and 4 were actually taken with my 2 megapixel camera phone.

At 2:30 p.m., Blogger Sidney said...

Interesting tradition! Very colorful !
Do they have a day for the daughters/girls?

I also try to tell stories and document an event. And then all the pictures can't be perfect.

At 4:17 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

That carp in the third picture is huge!


Post a Comment

<< Home