May 5th is a national holiday in Japan known as Children’s Day. Since 1948, families have been getting together to celebrate the healthy growth, happiness, and unique personalities of their children. Below are ways your family can take part in this celebration as well. Spend the weekend making the traditional treats and decorations, or go on a family outing to the several different events bringing this traditional Japanese custom to New York. Learn more
A popular treat that is indulged on Children’s Day is a sticky rice cake with a sweet red bean paste inside, wrapped in oak leaves called kashiwa mochi. (Don’t eat the leaves! They’re just for decoration.)
Follow this recipe and spend a fun afternoon with your children making these delicious treats. Link
Koinobori (Carp-shaped Streamers)
Families with boys fly koinobori outside their homes on Children’s Day. The carp symbolizes strength and success as legends tell of carp swimming upstream to become a dragon. Learn more
Arts & Crafts
Follow this unique tutorial on how to make your own koinobori. Link
Sunday May 5, 2pm
Japan Society Children’s Day
Enjoy Children’s Day with a fun theater performance introducing a classic Japanese children’s story featuring Peach Boy (Momotaro) and festival-related song and dance by Theatre Banana. Children can create their own samurai helmets (kabuto) and carp streamers (koinobori), traditional Children’s Day decorations. Recommended for children ages 3-10 and accompanying adults. Link
Tickets: $15 / $8 Japan Society members; children ages 2 or under are free.
Location: 333 East 47th St. New York, NY 10017
Saturday, Sunday May 4-5
Mitsuwa Japanese Sweets Fair
In celebration of Children’s Day in Japan, Mitsuwa will feature Japanese traditional sweets for the event such as kashiwa mochi (mochi wrapped in oak leaves), chimaki (plain mochi wrapped in bamboo leaves) and miso bekomochi (steamed rice cakes with miso flavor). Link
Location: 595 River Rd., Edgewater, NJ 07020
Japanese confectionaries store, Minamoto Kitchoan, will be selling kashiwa mochi for the entire month of May. Stop in for your mochi fix, we definitely will!
Location: 608 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10020
Sunday, May 5
NYCNDA (Let’s Play in Japanese)
Children’s Suppliers Bazaar
Manhattan’s mom owned and operated Japanese learning center for children, NYCNDA (Let’s Play in Japanese), is bidding farewell and closing its doors. On Sunday, May 5, they’re having a sale on a wide selection of children’s supplies such as games, toys, puzzles, books, and baby furniture. Only cash will be accepted.
Location: 315 E. 5th St. New York NY 10003