I believe this photo is from around Children’s Day (Kodomo no Hi) in May of last year. Japan has a day for pretty much everyone, though how intensely they’re celebrated varies wildly.
There’s a Girl’s Day (Ohina Matsuri) on March 3rd. Families with daughters set out a special set of dolls in February and they kind of become part of the family until shortly after Girl’s Day, when they’re packed up again. Failing to set the dolls up results in sad, teary dolls. The same fate results, though, if you neglect to pack them up again promptly.
Families with boys celebrate on Children’s Day by displaying a samurai helmet and flying carp streamers. It might seem strange to have a day called “Girl’s Day”, and then not have a day called “Boy’s Day”. Well, according to about.com, Children’s Day used to be called Tango no Sekku, and was a day to celebrate boys. Some people still call Children’s day “Boy’s Festival”, though—and they might as well, really, since it *is* a day full of celebrations for boys.
Most families fly small sets of streamers, but a trip to the countryside will often be rewarded with sightings of absolutely enormous streamers flying by farmhouses.
I love the carp streamers and I really want to fly some, but alas, the traditional part of my husband says it’s not appropriate. *sigh*
Around Children’s Day—which takes place during Japan’s Golden Week holiday period—there was a fellow who came down to the beach almost daily to fly a long set of carp streamers on a string. It was an amazing sight.
Here’s hoping the fish are back this year!