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Happy Boys Day!  Here in Southern California we typically celebrate today as Cinco de Mayo (which I love to do as well), but first for me on this date is Boys Day.  Back when I had my first son, my sister in law, Wendy, introduced me to the celebration of Tango no Sekku, or “Boys Day” in Japan (also sometimes called “Childrens Day”).  This day started out as a way to celebrate the healthy growth and development of Japan’s male youth.  (Yes, there is a Girls Day, too, on March 3, but since I have boys I have only done the Boys Day thing).

On this day in Japan, and elsewhere, many Japanese families put up colorful paper or cloth fish as decoration. These fish are hung on a pole like a windsock to swim in the breeze (see video below).  The fish banner (in this case a Koi, a.k.a. Carp) is traditionally hung for each boy in the family.  It is said that the koi, a strong and hardy fish, has the strength to swim against swift currents or streams.  On Boys Day parents decorate their homes and neighborhoods with these koi windsocks to symbolize the strength and ambition they would like their sons to have.  :0)

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To learn more about Boys Day and Girls Day, click HERE