Shichi-go-san Festival is one of the most important festivals in Japan for children and also their parents. It is held annually on the 15th of November. It is to celebrate the growth of the young children. It is not a national holiday therefore it is to be celebrated on the weekend before or after the date.
If you were in Japan around the festival date, you might be able to witness the on-going celebrations. Kids were wearing their kimono walking around with their parents.
The meaning of Shichi-go-san is seven, five and three. It means specially for seven years old girls, five years old boys and three years old girls.
Kids with the stated age were to go to the shrine nearby with their parents and to pray to their guardian of god for good health and well being of life.
A prayer at the shrine will continues on for about 20 minutes. In my opinion, I would think that it was a very hard task for a kid to sit still with a prayer. However, the kids were able to sit up straight with bowing whole time, while the prayer was still going on. It was kinda of unbelievable experiences.
It makes me felt so proud to see how the kids achieve this so far. The kids were wrapped tight in Kimono need to sit still for almost half an hour. What a sympathy to them, but they will have a special treat after the long sit – which was the long candy.
The kimono that the kids wore normally was more than 50 years old, as it was normally passed down by generations. Every girl in the family wore the same kimono.
There is a treat of thousand years candy which is long, thin, red and white candy that brings healthy growth and longevity to the kids. Therefore, it might be one of the reasons that attracted many kids for this festival celebrations. The candy normally comes in a bag that have crane and a turtle pictures on it. Those pictures bring long-lives in Japan.
Many families in Japan will gather around for the event and have a big lunch treat after the temple shrine visits. As a conclusion, the shichi-go-san festival celebration did brings a great impact to the Japanese family to get together and spend more good quality time with the family.