Children's Day (Kodomo no hi) is celebrated on 5th May in Japan. It is a national holiday on which all children are celebrated and their mothers are honoured.
Some Children's Day Customs
Until recently, 5th May was known as Boy's Day (Tango no Sekku, or the Feast of Banners), so many of the traditional celebrations on Children's Day come from Boy's Day.
Koinobori, or carp kites, are hung outside houses on Children's Day. Find out what they symbolise and try our printables and crafts.
The Samurai were the most noble warriors of Japan, and the Samurai Helmet which they wore also symbolizes strength and courage and is often worn by boys on Children's Day. Visit our Samurai page to find out how to make your own helmet and how to fold an origami one.
A Surprising Tradition?
The Japanese iris - a spring flower - is associated with Children's Day because many years ago it's strong smell was said to ward off evil spirits - and keep them away from the boys of the family. Japanese families used to take baths with iris petals on Children's Day for protection.
More Ideas for Children's Day
These ideas aren't particularly associated with Children's Day, but if you are using it as an excuse to learn more about Japan, they are a fun way to do so.
A Very Special Little Girl
Learn about a little girl called Sadako Sasaki, and discover how she inspired this beautiful monument to world peace, the Children's Peace Monument, many years ago. The monument was unveiled on Children's Day 1958 and is visited by thousands of children each year.
Traditional Wooden Dolls
These oh-so-cute wooden dolls date back about 300 years and appeal to all ages. We've got some pretty new kokeshi doll activities and printables here at Activity Village.
The arrival of cherry blossom in Spring in Japan is a signal for getting outdoors, enjoying picnics and visiting parks with friends and family. In early May many parts of Japan will still be in blossom.
Learn More About Japan
Expand your knowledge of Japan and Japanese culture by visiting our "Japan for Kids" theme, and try your hand at some more Japanese related crafts, play some traditional Japanese games, and enjoy our colouring pages and printables.
Print out some of these lovely Japan-themed colouring pages for the kids to enjoy!
A Japanese Craft
Visit our origami section for traditional Japanese origami models (and lots of new origami designs, perfect for kids, too).
Play a Game!
Why not introduce a traditional Japanese game into the classroom or home - such a fun way to learn about Japan and Japanese children.