Shichi-go-san is a traditional Japanese rite of passage, a festival to celebrate the growth of a child.Back in the days where the babies’ and toddlers’ death rate were high, Japanese people considered children below the age of seven to be ‘children of the gods’, and they only became members of society at the age of seven.The rituals mentioned below became the modern Shichi-go-san festival in the Meiji era.
- Three-year-old children:’kami-oki’; they begin growing theirhair long.
- Five-year-old boys:’hakama-gi’; they put on the hakama (a divided skirt-like men’s formalwear) for the first time.
- Seven-year-old girls:’obi-toki’; they start wearing obi (Japanese sash for Kimono)
As Shichi-go-san is a family-centred festival, the feel of celebration and congratulating the child is very precious. Typically, a family photograph is taken, there is a visit to the shrine, and then the family will have a feast at home.
We cannot visit shrines in Canada, so let’s, at least, take a family photograph in tha traditional Japanese Kimono! Pass on the traditions of Japan, teach our children the cultures of the country and share pleasant memories…