Kodomo no Hi is usually translated in English as “Children’s Day”, though
as most of the traditions are connected with boys I think you could
also call it “Boys’ Day”.

Like Hinamatsuri, it is celebrated each year by families to pray
for the health (健康) and happiness (幸福) of children, especially boys.

We can introduce some of the traditional Children’s Day decorations and foods like this:

  • koinobori – carp streamers (or sometimes flags or even windsocks)
  • kabuto – a samurai helmet
  • yoroi – samurai armour
  • kashiwa-mochi – sticky rice cakes filled with red bean paste (あんこ) and wrapped in oak leaves (柏の葉)
  • chimaki – sticky sweet rice wrapped in an iris (アヤメ) or bamboo (笹) leaf

Language note:
The word “koi” in English is usually used to mean colourful koi (錦鯉). We also sometimes say “koi carp”. If we just say “carp” many people imagine plain-coloured, common carp (真鯉、鮒など).

Kodomo no Hi
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