May 5 is designated as part of the Golden Week holiday here in Japan as they celebrate Children's Day. Before Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar, this day was celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th moon. It's original name was Tango no Sekku or Feast of Banners to give honor to young boys. In 1948, it was renamed Kodomo no Hi by the government to celebrate happiness of all children and to express their gratitude towards their mothers. However, because March 3 is also celebrated as Girls Day, locals still regonize May 5 as Boys Day. Similar to Girls Day, families with young boys display Samurai helmets or dolls with other ornaments to symbolize strength and courage.

Boys Day
The Symbolic Display During Boys Day in Japan

 

Ikebana for May 5 Celebration

To celebrate this day, we made some special arrangements in our Ikebana class last week. Since we do not have a class during Golden Week, we made the arrangements in advance. Irises which blooms also in May are used as the symbol flower for this celebration.  Irises were also included in this small display as well. One rule that my sensei said when doing this arrangement is that the flowers of the Iris should be in straight position. I also added some red Peony buds, white Dianthus for accents. The Naruko Lily leaves were also added to give some curves in contrast with the straight lines from the Iris stems and leaves.

 

Boys Day
Ikebana Arrangement for Boys Day Using Irises

 

May 5 Celebration
Another Arrangement for the May 5 Celebration Using the Same Materials