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Japan: Celebrated as Boys' Day|
China's Duanwu Festival and its culture were introduced to Japan after the Heian period (794–1185). Originally called Tango no Sekku, the festival fell on the fifth day of the fifth moon in the Chinese calendar, which then was switched to the Gregorian calendar and moved to May 5.
Some 800 blue carp streamers fly in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on May 5, 2019, in memory of children killed in the March 2011 tsunami that devastated the region. /VCG
On this day, the Japanese, like the Chinese, eat special food that resembles zongzi and drink calamus wine to fend off evil spirits.
Kashiwa-mochi, sticky rice cakes filled with red bean jam and wrapped in oak leaves, and chimaki, sticky sweet rice wrapped in an iris or bamboo leaf, are popular traditional food served during the festival.
As the word "calamus" and the phrase meaning "advocate strength" are homophones in the Japanese language, the festival was widely regarded as a festival for boys and celebrated as Boy's Day in Japan. It was later renamed Children's Day in 1948.
Wishing that children grow in strength and health, Japanese households will, on this day, raise the koinobori, which are carp-shaped windsocks that blow like banners in the wind and symbolize hope.