culture Japan

Golden Week

The end of the April through around May 5 is called “golden week in Japan. April 29 which is the first holiday is the birthday of Showa Emperor. Now, this day is called Showa day. The second holiday is Constitution Memorial Day, May 3. And May 4 is called Green Day. The last holiday is Children’s day, May 5. It’s a Japanese tradition for families of boys to hang up carp streamers outside their houses around this holiday. Carps are believed to symbolize successes in children’s lives. Traditionally, we celebrate this day with not only carp streams but also dolls for the Boy’s Festival, Kashiwa-mochi, and Chimaki. However, recently I rarely see the carp streams and the dolls.
How many people do these traditional things in Japan? According to AQUTNET research, 7.9% of people hang up the carp streams, 12.8% of people display the dolls for the Boy’s Festival, 13.6% of people take a bath with iris, and 28.2% of people eat Kahiwa-mochi and Chimaki. It said the number of people who display the decoration for Boy’s Day is decreasing because of their housing situation and “golden week”. On the other hand, on Girl’s day, March 3, about 50% of people display dolls for Girl’s Day.
When I was a child, I thought carp streams were big and weird because of their design. However, I feel sad when I don’t see them on Children’s Day. We tend to think Golden Week is a holiday to go out to play and to travel. But I think we shouldn’t forget the meaning of each day and try to keep Japanese tradition.

carp streamer