1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Kashiwamochi – Japanese Sweet for Children's Day

By

Kashiwamochi – Japanese Sweet for Children's Day

May 5th is Children's Day. It is a day to celebrate a child's growth and happiness. It was originally a boy's festival, but was changed to include both genders. There are often special dishes served at seasonal events. Kashiwamochi is traditionally served on Children's Day. It is a rice cake wrapped in oak leaves. Inside there is a sweet bean paste. Since Oak trees don't shed old leaves until new leaves grow, they are seen as a symbol of the prosperity of one's descendants. Chimaki (sweet rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaf) are sometimes served instead of Kashiwamochi, as oak trees were not native in the west of Japan.

Japanese Translation

柏餅

五月五日は子供の日です。子供たちの成長と幸せをお祝いする祝日です。もともとは、端午の節句という男の子のお祭りでしたが、今では子供の日となっています。季節の行事には、その行事のための特別な食べ物を食べることが多いです。子供の日には柏餅を食べる慣わしがあります。柏餅とは、柏の木の葉に包まれたおもちです。中にはあんこが入っています。柏の葉は、新芽が育つまで、古い葉が落ちないことから、「子孫繁栄」の象徴と考えらていました。日本の西部では、柏の木が自生していないため、柏餅の代わりにちまき(笹の葉に包まれたもち菓子)を食べることもあります。

Romaji Translation

Go-gatsu itsuka wa kodomo no hi desu. Kodomotachi no seichou to shiawase o oiwaisuru shukujitsu desu. Motomoto wa, tango no sekku to iu otoko no ko no omatsuri deshita ga, ima dewa kodomo no hi to natteimasu. Kisetsu no gyouji niwa, sono gyouji no tame no tokubetsuna tabemono o taberu koto ga ooi desu. Kodomo no hi niwa kashiwamochi o taberu narawashi ga arimasu. Kashiwamochi towa, kashiwa no ki no ha ni tsutsumareta omochi desu. Naka niwa anko ga haitteimasu. Kashiwa no ha wa, shinme ga sodatsu made, furui ha ga ochinai koto kara, "shison hanei" no shouchou to kangaerarete imashita. Nihon no seibu dewa, kashiwa no ki ga jisei shite inai tame, kashiwamochi no kawari ni chimaki (sasa no ha ni tsutsumareta mochigashi) o taberu koto mo arimasu.

Note: The translation is not always literal.

Beginner's Phrases

It is a day to celebrate a child's growth and happiness.

  • Kodomotachi no seichou to shiawase o oiwaisuru hi desu.
  • こどもたちの せいちょうと しあわせを おいわいするひです。
  • 子供たちの成長と幸せをお祝いする日です。

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.