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Shichigosan Celebrated on Monday

Date Posted: 1999-11-19

“Shichigosan”, a traditional celebration for children who are 3, 5 and 7 years old, took place on Monday. This annual celebration originated in November 15th, 1650 with the fifth anniversary of the 5th Shogun, Tsunayoshi Tokugawa. It was during the Meiji era that the name of the observance was established throughout the nation. Since the Taisho era, it has become very popular among the Japanese people.

Boys who turn 3 and 5 years old, and girls who turn 3 and 7, are those who get to enjoy the most of this occasion. There are two main reasons why the “Shichigosan” is reserved for children of that age: first, the odd numbers: 3, 5 and 7, are believed to be good numbers. Secondly, the ages of 3, 5 and 7 are those special ages when the children’s health conditions are believed to go through some changes. For these reasons, the parents celebrate their children’s growth and health. On the day of “Shichigosan”, parents and kids go to the shrine wearing formal traditional attire to pray for their admission as boys and girls, not as infants anymore. At the shrines, special candy known as “Chitose-ame” is presented to the children. The word, “Chitose” means a thousand years old.

On November 15th, Monday, lots of people visited the local shrines in Okinawa to pray for the children’s growth, happiness and health.

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