5 Sekku in Japan

Sekku are days on which Japanese people celebrate seasonal festivals. There are 5 important festivals.

1. Shogatsu, from January 1st-7th
To celebrate a harmonious year, the god of the New Year’s harvest is welcomed. Kadomatsu, special decorations and osechi ryori, a meal in which every dish has a symbolic meaning of prosperity or good health are eaten.

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2. Joushi (Hinamatsuri), March 3rd
At Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival), girl’s good fortune and growth are hoped. Decorations of the Hina (small) dolls are thought to take over misfortunes that fall on girls. Chirashizushi, mixed sushi rice are one of the most eaten dishes.

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3. Tango no Sekku, May 5th
Yoroikabuto (samurai armor replica) and koinobori (carp banners) are decorated by parents to pray for healthy growth of their sons. Kashiwamochi, rice cakes and chimaki, rice dumplings which symbolize prosperity of the family, are eaten.

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4. Tanabata, July 7th
Derived from a Chinese legend in which two mythical lovers, Orihime (a weaving girl) and Kengyu (a cowherd) could only meet once a year in the Milky Way. strips of colored papers with people’s wishes are tied to the bamboo branches.

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5. Chouyou. September 9th
Double nines are considered favorable in Onmyo philosophy, which consider odd numbersas Yo (Yang). Japanese people, Kiku (chrysathemum) are decorated for aroma and decoration. Morning dew drank on kiku is believed to bring long life.

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