“Children’s Day” is a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5. This day was celebrated in order to wish the healthy growth and happiness of the boys in the family.
In Japan, carp is believed as a symbol of strength and courage. Therefore, we have custom of hanging out Koinobori (carp streamers) on a tall pole on Children’s Day to pray that boys in the house will take after carp and live their lives strongly.
The wagashi in the photo is a special Children’s Day treat modeled after the carp streamers.
This type of wagashi is originally known as Ayu (sweetfish) which is very familiar during the summer season. Sweet rice cake and bean paste are covered with a thin pancake-like skin.
Japanese seems to love molding confection into fish (such as taiyaki). Our love into fish is quite amazing!