Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
What a joy to read all of your haiku inspired on the one by Kikusha-Ni and what a coincedence that there were several of you who used the rain puddle in their haiku, just as I did. Really I am looking forward to the next Special, but that's in about 6 days, today we share haiku on Tango (Boys' Day or Boys' Festival). This festival is always on the 5th day of the 5th moon in the lunar calendar which was used in classical Japan. When Japan started to use the Western calendar this day would have been on the 5th of June, but Boys' Day however is still at hand on 5th May, so you would say it's for Spring, but that's not true. Boys' Festival was one the first Summer festivals, so it's a kigo for early Summer.
I will return to that after this. I love to share something else with you all. As you may know in July I have Jane Reichhold chosen for our Specials. She is still alive (she's now 76 yrs) so I had to ask for her permission to use her haiku. Well ... on June 2nd I have e-mailed her with that question and I have included a little interiew of four questions. So I am in awe and I hope she will answer this e-mail, we will see. I will keep you all informed.
OK ... back to our prompt, our classical kigo, for today, Tango (Boys' Day).
On this day Japanese families celebrate Tango-no-Sekku, the Boys' Festival. With its special customs and observances, it is Japan's way of celebrating the healthy growth and development of her young boys.
The carp has become the symbol of the Boys' Festival because the Japanese consider it the most spirited of fish, so full of energy and power that it can fight its way up swift-running streams and cascades. Because of its strength and determination to overcome all obstacles, it stands for courage and the ability to attain high goals. The carp is an appropriate symbol to encourage manliness and the overcoming of life's difficulties leading to consequent success.
There are several legends around this Boy’s Festival which I love to share one of here:
This legend traces the origin of the Boys' Festival to Tokimune Hojo's victory over them invading Mongols on May 5, 1282. As a result, Samurai families erected the flags and streamers in celebration of the victory. Others believe that the unification of the country by the Ashikaga Shogun in the 14th century had been celebrated in this fashion on every May 5 until the interior decorations came to be emphasized.
|Credits: Decorations for Boys' Day, a miniature samourai helmet and armor|
the young boy's father
|Credits: Japanese Iris, the long narrow leaves look somewhat like a sword|
the young boys play like Samourai
Iris swords in hand