Sunday, 22 November 2009
3, 5, 7 festival
As we got closer to the temple, we started to see lots of children dressed in brightly coloured kimonos, all heading for the same place. I realised that it was the Shichi-go-san festival (or 7, 5, 3 festival), a rite of passage for girls of that age, and boys of 3 or 5. The odd numbers are thought to be lucky and generally involves visiting a shrine to drive out evil spirits and wish for a long and healthy life. Chitose ame (thousand year candy) is given to the children. It is a long, thin, red and white candy which sybolises healthy growth and longevity. I just found it a magical experience and kept imagining how gorgeous Flo would look in one of those brightly designed kimonos.