2014/05/12

Tokyo Tower Carp Streamer Display / 東京タワー鯉のぼり

 

Carp Streamers, or Koi Nobori (鯉のぼり), have a long history in Japan and is a tradition which has roots even older than that in ancient China. Images of Koi (Carp) are painted on wind socks and, in Japan, are hung up to fly in the wind in celebration of Children's Day. Children's Day is officially celebrated each year on May 5, and the tradition of families decorating their homes with Carp Streamers is the boys' counterpart to the annual girls' holiday, Hinamatsuri / ひな祭り.


Each Carp Streamer hung at a family home represents each of the family's individual sons. If tradition is adhered to strictly, the colours of the Carp are also representative of the sons' birth order. In ancient China, Carp were believed to grow up to be dragons. Because of this famous legend, the streamers bring good fortune, health and longevity to the family's sons, so even into modern times, these bright and cheerful decorations can be seen all over Japan during early May.


The Carp Streamers displayed at Tokyo Tower serve a different purpose. During the first week of May, Tokyo Tower celebrates Children's day by display 333 Carp Streamers-- one for each of its 333 meter height! On a sunny day it's really fun to go see!

Of course, a visit to Tokyo Tower isn't complete without taking a nice rest in the adjacent Shiba Park (芝公園 / Shiba Kōen) which also has lovely views of the tower and rich greenery.





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