for May 5th Boys’ Day

The sky is Infinitely blue in May.

It’s just the time to set aside a day

for a celebration to wish boys healthy growth.

By law, the 5th of May is the national Children’s Day.

But in the people’s mind,

it’s traditionally the Boys’ Day as opposed to the March 3rd Girls’ Day.

Beautiful dolls and peach flowers for the Girls’ Day

to wish that the girls grow pretty.

But for the Boys’ Day, it’s warrior dolls and the shobu iris

to wish that they grow strong.

Also for the Boys Day, long carp-shaped streamers swim in the sky.

Carp are so strong they swim up against waterfalls, so a legend goes.

The waterfalls symbolize challenges the boys will face in their lives.

So it’s the parents’ wish that their boys live through whatever challenges they meet

in their future like the carp swimming up waterfalls no matter how high they might be.

I remember my father erected a tall pole in the front yard.

A 5-meter-long carp streamer swam in the May breeze on the top of it.

But such a scene is seldom seen in crowded city anymore.

Only a few rich people could afford a front yard in town nowadays.

So the doll makers offer a-foot-long carp-shaped dolls

to be used for the Boys’ Day decoration in apartment rooms.

No matter how our living environment changes, however,

the parents’ desire to have celebration to wish their children healthy growth

never fades away from the peoples’ mind.

Local communities fly hundreds of carp streamers collectively for children.

In town, national flags disappear from flag poles on the top of some tall buildings.

Instead, long carp-shaped streamers are swimming in the May sky.

The wish of the parents about their children never disappears from the people.

(May 5, 2016)


13 Responses to for May 5th Boys’ Day

  1. Pingback: for the May 5th Boys’ Day | AshiAkira's Blog

  2. mopana says:

    Wow! We don’t have such traditions, girls’ day and boys’ day. We have only the Childrens’ day on June First.

    I see you have beautiful memories with your father, Ashi 🙂 A 5-meter-long carp streamer is a beautiful proof of love, right?

  3. Tanja says:

    This is beautiful, Ashi, also very moving. I enjoyed reading the poem and learning about the celebration. It is also interesting how the environment has changed since you were a small boy.Big changes all over the world, happening so quickly that we can witness them within one lifetime. Here, in Slovenia, we don’t have any such day, but I wish we did. Children are our hope for a beautiful and peaceful future.

  4. A lovely tradition and new to me. We don’t have anything like it here.

  5. i love this vision of flying carps in the blue sky of may ;o)

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