Monday, January 19, 2009

Little Samurai (old post from previous blog)

On November 15, children all across Japan celebrate 'Shichi-go-san' , or '7-5-3'. Technically, the numbers correspond to the ages of the children. So why 3 different ages? Who knows... Traditionally, the main celebration takes place in the year the child turns from 5 to 6, which happens in their kindergarten year. If siblings happen to fall within the other ages, they would join in the celebration as well.

Kai is one of the select few, however, who's celebration is delayed a year. He is born in February, which they call 'haya-umare', or 'early-birth'. Anyone born before April 1 falls into this group. They celebrate in their grade 1 year, which means they are 6, going on 7. Taiga, having just turned 4, could be included in Kai's year, or can have his own day in 2 years time.

The event generally involves a trip to the local Shinto shrine for a 'blessing', formal photos in traditional costume, and a formal gathering of family and other important friends and neighbours - much resembling a wedding reception, with the children at the head table. We partook in the first 2, but opted out of the formal dinner gig.

Dressing in the kimonos was a lot of fun for the boys, and Mommy and Daddy too! They looked so handsome, and I can't wait to see the full professoinal shots. Kai especially was quite nervous, and looked to be either half asleep or close to tears in most of the shots, but we got some good ones too, I think. I'm really hoping they will be ready before Christmas!

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