The 5th of May is a National Holiday in Japan that is called the ‘Kodomo-no-Hi’, the Children’s Day. We celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of children, particularly boys (because there is the Girl’s Day on the 3rd of March). There are several things we do traditionally for that day. As the National Holiday in Japan we of course have special food related to this day. One of them is ‘Chimaki’ which is a steamed Mochi sweet wrapped in bamboo leaves and the other one is ‘Kashiwa Mochi’ that is also a Mochi sweet wrapped in an oak (Kashiwa) leaves.
There are also things we do for the day but not food related. We decorate our houses with a model of ‘Kabuto’ Samurai helmet by hoping the boy becomes big and strong. Last year I created a Kabuto sweet by being inspired by its shape. And the most significant thing we do traditionally for this Children’s day is placing a huge Koi Carp shaped banner called ‘Koinobori’ outside of the house. It is made of light cloth and when wind comes in from the carp’s moth and goes through its body, it flows up in the air and looks like it’s swimming above the roof.
‘Koinobori’ Koi Carp
I have actually made this Koinobori sweet two years ago. It went quite successfully so I made it again this year.
However, there is a small difference between this year’s Koinobiri and my previous creation.
This year’s Koi carp couple got a baby Green carp and became a family.
My Koinobori is made of Japanese sweet bean pastry with smooth sweet Azuki Bean paste inside.
It is Vegan (No Dairy and No Egg) and Gluten Free.
This Koinobori sweet (pink one) is served at the Matcha Bar of Wasoukan (Notting Hill, London) until the end of May.