Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flying fish flags!

I've been seeing these wind socks for the past month and didn't know why. Until now. (Thank you, Google!)

Turns out that these are called koinobori (鯉幟), which means "carp banner." Hmm, that makes sense. :)

In Japan, the carp ("koi") is a symbol of perseverance, strength and determination. So the carp flags represent advancement in life, as well as good fortune and luck. They're flown in honor of sons, in hopes that they will grow up healthy and strong.

Each member of a household with boys in it gets a flag. They're flown as a set over the roof of the house. Traditionally, black fish flags (the biggest) are for fathers, orange/red for mothers, blue/white for boys and red/pink for girls.

Flags and other Childrens' Day merchandise are sold at Universe.

My friend Moi stood inside one of the flags! We found these hanging outside of a furniture store. (I'm really not sure why.)

Children's Day on May 5th is the last holiday of the three consecutive holidays that make up Golden Week. May 3rd is Constitution Memorial Day, and May 4th is Greenery Day or Nature Day.

Because there is no school (and in many cases, no work) on these holidays, Golden Week is a popular time to travel. That's how I'm able to be in the Philippines next week! (By the way, I just wrote a new post in "Keep Shining.") So this will be my last post for a little while since I'll be traveling.
"Ja ne!" ("Later") <><


Dawn said...

I hope you have fun (and stay safe) on your trip. I didn't know they had a holiday on my birthday - LOL - Children's Day.

Jennifer said...

I like those fish flags.

Have a great time in the pines :)

Lauren said...

THose flags are so cute!!! I wish we did something like that over here! Childrens day sounds like a grea idea!
Lvoe you!!!