Shichi-go-san (7-5-3)

Today marks Shichi-Go-San (7-5-3) in Japan. It’s a festive day to celebrate the growth and well-being of children that have reached the ages of 3, 5, and 7. In modern day celebrations, the children are dressed in their best clothes (girls often appearing in kimono and boys in hakama), going to their local Shinto shrine with their parents to pay homage to the guardian deity of the neighborhood. There the parents give thanks for the health of their child(ren) and pray for continued happy and healthy futures.

7-5-3 description

The child is given a candy called Chitose-ame (“thousand year candy”), it’s a long, thin red-and-white candy and comes in bag decorated with crane and turtle illustrations; the crane and turtle both being symbols of long life in Japan. Red and white is also an auspicious color combination. This is supposed to ensure the child’s longevity and health.

Chitose ame description

My kids aren’t the right ages to celebrate this year, but last year we combined this time of the year with family photos

D in a hakama

We got a baby haka a for D and got N all dressed in a formal kimono. We utilized a translator and a process photographer to make the day a little simpler and a full fledged event

N getting dressed at the kimono shop

Overall it was a great day and as beautiful as my phone pics turned out the professional ones were EVEN better.

Have you participated in 7-5-3 while here in Japan? What did you think of the Chitose Ame? Tell us in the comments.

N on Main Street in kimono 👘

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