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Shichigosan celebrates parents' love for children

Shichigosan celebrates parents' love for children
A girl wearing kimono for Shichigosan leaves the shrine pavilion with her family at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

The Daily Yomiuri

Around Nov. 15, temples and shrines across the nation become crowded with people celebrating Shichigosan — a festival for children 3, 5 or 7 years old that gives thanks for their growth and wishes for their well-being and longevity.

Boys aged 3 or 5 and girls aged 3 or 7 are feted during the festival.

Led by their parents, children dressed up in hakama or kimono pray before altars. The children clutch long, thin chitose-ame candies, colored red and white, which are believed to bring luck.

Shichigosan is a Japanese custom that began in farming villages, where children often died young. The custom took root in the samurai class during the Edo period (1603-1868).

Parents' love for their children is the same in all ages and, rather than becoming obsolete, the festival has become more splendid.

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