There are not so many events in this month, so I'd like to introduce a traditional event held in November. It is called shichi-go-san, which means seven, five and three. If you visit some shinto shrines, you may be able to see some boys and girls in pretty kimonos.
Now I explain about the event shichi-go-san. It's a traditional event to take three and five-year old boys and thre and seven years old girls to a shinto shrine and pray for their healthy growth and at the same time people celebrate their growth.
People used to count their year in kazoe(*), but now they take their kids to shrines in their actual age. But why they take three, five and seven year-old kids?
In old days, in age three, children started to grow their hair. Before that, most of them shaved their head. Both boys and girls started to grow their hair when they were three. Then boys firstly wore hakama(a kind of formal kimono) when they were five, while girls of seven firstly wore obi-belt to fasten their kimono instead of broad string. The ceremony is called himo-otoshi or obi-toki.
Mortality rate of infants was extremely high in old days, compared to that of today. Moreover, children under seven were regarded to belong to god(s). So that reason, people believed children's destinies depend on god's decision. So seven-year-old celebration was considered especially important.
*kazoe...Japanese counted their age in kazoe in old days. When a new born baby was born, he or she was 1 year old. When new year comes, he or she will be two years old. For example, if you have a baby born in November, 2007, the baby is one year. When year 2008 comes, the baby will be two years old.
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。