With the approach to May, I’m not only preparing for Beltane but also for the Japanese festival Kodomo no Hi – “Children’s Day” or “Boy’s Day.”
Just as Hina Matsuri in Japan is a time to wish for good health for young girls, Kodomo no Hi is a time to pray for the healthy growth of boys. As I have two young nephews, it seems very appropriate for me to observe Kodomo no Hi. This year, I’ve bought little koi-nobori (windsock shaped like koi carp, representing growth) which I’m looking forward to giving my nephews – I’m really glad this one has two koi on it rather than the usual one or three, as it represents my two nephews very well.
I’ve also hung up my own koi-nobori again outside my house. Unlike last year, I haven’t hung it near my Inari altar as last year it kept blowing into the altar and knocking things over! I don’t have a suitable pole to hang it on, so it’s just hanging from the outside lamp. I hope it doesn’t blow away…
You can read more about Kodomo no Hi (and its similarities to nearby Beltane) on my post from last year here.
While I was putting up the koi-nobori, I noticed that I have two narcissus flowers blooming in a tiny patch of earth outside. They’re late bloomers (probably because they don’t get a lot of sun where they are), but they’re very pretty. What’s strange about them is that they’re “double headed,” with two flowers on each stalk. This “doubleness,” coupled with their white/orange-red colour scheme, does remind me a little of Inari Okami’s fox guardians. A positive sign!