- It’s a day to celebrate children’s growth.
- Take a picture with your family!
- “Chitose-ame”candy is to hope for longevity.
It’s a day to celebrate children’s growth.
You might see children dressed in Kimono during the sunny days of November. Their parents, grandparents, and family members are out celebrating their children’s growth. This festival is called “Shichi-go-san”, or 7-5-3. Many hundreds of years ago, the mortality rate for children was very high in Japan and it was considered a success if families raised their children to the ages of 3, 5, and 7. Now days, Shichi-go-san celebrates 5-year-old boys, and 3 and 7-year-old girls every year. Shichi-go-san is celebrated on the 15th of November, but you can actually celebrate it anytime between October and November.
Take a picture with your family!
Celebration differs in each area of Japan, but people usually visit the shrine in their local community and pray for the continuous health and growth of their children. One thing you can’t miss is taking photos with them. I still have the photo of myself, when I celebrated Shichi-go-san.
Now days, families go to photo studios to get model-like portraits of their children. My nephew got a very nice photo of himself, which resembled a high quality portrait you might see in magazines. It’s a great keepsake for both the children, and their family.
“Chitose-ame”candy is to hope for longevity.
If you see the children leaving the shrine, you’ll commonly see them carrying a long and colorful package. This is called “Chitose-ame” candy and the packaging has very vivid coloring with images of turtles and cranes. The color of the candy itself is white and red, which are lucky colors in Japan and the length of the candy symbolizes hope for the child’s longevity.