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Autumn events in Japan 3

Shichigosan is celebrated on November 15 for a reason. Fifteen is the addition of three, five and seven, and is considered a particularly auspicious number. The child is given a candy called Chitose-ame, a candy that wishes the child long life and good health. Chitose-ame is a long, red and white candy, and comes in a bag with an illustration of a crane and a turtle. Red and white are also the colors of good luck. It is also said that historically, when the festival originated, rulers often blamed the death of infants on evil spirits because bacterial diseases were not known to them, and when the children turned three, five or seven years old, they were thanked by the gods for their good health. The first ritual for a three-year-old child is Kamioki. Kamioki literally means “”to leave the hair on,”” and seven days after birth, whether it’s a boy or a girl, the tradition of shaving a baby’s head and keeping it shaved until he or she reached the age of three had its roots in the practice.It was believed that by continuing to shave, it would encourage the growth of fuller hair. In the spring of the following year, a Kamioki ritual is performed, followed by a “”retreat”” where the hair is left to grow in abundance. The second ceremony was the Hakamagi-no-gi, in which a five-year-old boy was made to wear a hakama and haori . This is the first time they will wear ceremonial attire, symbolizing their roles and responsibilities as men. The third Obi-toki-no-gi is for girls as young as seven years old, and instead of a kimono tied with a string The “”obi”” (the wide sash of the kimono) is worn for the first time. The obi is difficult to tie and highly decorative, and symbolizes the transition to women. When the obi ceremony began, it was originally intended for boys and girls as young as nine years old, but during the Edo period, the Hakamagi-no-gi became the norm at the age of five for boys, and the Obi-toki-no-gi for girls was at the age of seven. The meaning behind these ceremonies is that the child is taking a new step into adulthood.

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