Children’s Day Kashiwa Mochi

Happy Children’s day Japan?
To day May 5th in Japan is known as ( Kodomo no hi ) ( こどもの日)
It is part of the string of national holidays over the Golden Week period .
This day is in fact for the boys as girls day Hina Matsuri was in March . However a lot of people celebrate this day now as children’s day.
It is traditional to eat these mochi wagashi called Kashiwa mochi to day . They symbolise a child’s growth as an oak leaf is used to wrap the mochi ( not edible ). The reason an oak leaf is used is because oak trees do not shed their leaves until the new ones start to grow so thus are seen as a symbol of harmonious flow from one generation to the next. They are also a symbol of growth strength and prosperity. These mochi are made from pounded sweet joshinko rice flour and filled with bean paste . Other mochi can be filled with miso paste . How would you know if a mochi is filled with bean paste or miso paste ? Well look at the leaves the mochi is wrapped in. If the veins are on the outside there is bean paste inside .

Also at this time of year you will see Carp kites ( like wind socks known as koinobori flying all over Japan.
They represent courage perseverance and determination,as the fish swim against the current upstream in real life.
Traditionally there are three colours Black koi =father
Red koi= mother and blue koi for boys and sometimes pink or orange ones represent girls in the family.
The samurai helmet is also another symbol of boys day (children’s day ) symbolising strength and courage.

Enjoying these to day with a simple matcha .
Hope everyone in Japan is enjoying golden week .