This post is coming a little late because Children’s Day was back on the 5th of this month, but I still really wanted to share this with you guys! For pretty much the entire first half of May, in celebration of Children’s Day in Japan, you can see these traditional koi fish windsocks on display everywhere you go. The real ones are huge…several meters long, and hoisted way up high on a long, long pole. People also often put up little windsocks in their yards, and all of the shops are filled with cute little windsock ornaments and snacks.
The traditional food served in celebration of Children’s Day is kashiwa mochi (rice cakes filled with sweet red bean jam, and folded into an oak leaf). I did a post on these earlier this month, but didn’t mention that there is also another similar treat that is served on Children’s Day.
Since oak leaves were not traditionally available everywhere in Japan, sasa dango were also enjoyed in many regions. Instead of the oak leaf, the rice cake is instead wrapped in a bamboo leaf. Oak and bamboo leaves have different aromas, so the sweets themselves end up having distinctly different flavours. This particular sasa dango was served at the school that I am working at as a special lunchtime treat to be enjoyed by all the students and teachers!