Children’s day and Origin of Carp streamer
May 5th is Children's day in Japan.
On Children's day, we put Carp steamer.
This custom comes from Ancient China 's story. According to the story, It was said there was a large waterfall called "Ryumon" (竜門) in the back of the mountain in China, and the fish that climbed the waterfall successfully became dragons and acceded to the sky.
Many fishes Dreamed to be a dragon and challenged the waterfall but many failed. Under the circumstances, one Carp climbed the Ryumon successfully and became a dragon and ascended to and danced in the sky.
From this history, the carp dancing in the sky become a symbol of a success. and Samurai Family had used extensively as a symbol of prosperity.
This story reminds me Hokusai's Dragon. His last work.
It is our common understanding in Japan that a brave and strong spirit which win one's challenge becomes ascending dragon.
The Dragon of Smoke Escaping From Mount Fuji, 1849 by Hokusai
I believe Dragon is human's True Spirit.
We have many cultural works regarding Dragon.
It is very interesting that in Europe, Dragon is considered as evil presence, instead, in Japan, Dragon is symbol of bravery and strength, spiritually positive symbol. It is depicted at ceiling of many Zen Buddhist Temples.
Twin Dragons Kenninji-Temple /Koizumi Junsaku
On this day, I wish Children's happiness, health and prosperity.