The 七五三 (Shichi-Go-San) Festival is a festival celebrated on the weekend nearest November 15th. 七五三 literally means 7 5 3. It is for girls aged 3 and 7 and for 5 year old boys. They traditionally get dressed up in Japanese formal wear and visit the Shrines and the family wishes for a long healthy life for the children. Also they take pictures, tons and tons of adorable pictures of adorable children in kimonos and hakamas. While it is probably rude to stare, they were just so stinkin’ adorable it was hard not to. It took all of my power (and some of Dan’s) to stop me from videoing the three year olds trying to walk/shuffle in their sandals.
They also get chitose-ame, which are long stick-like candies that symbolize healthy growth and longevity.
Taken from Kids web Japan:
“Following the visit, parents generally buy chitose-ame (longevity candy) for the children. The candy is shaped like a stick and comes in a bag that carries illustrations of cranes and turtles–two animals that are symbols of long life. Chitose literally means a thousand years and is used to denote very long periods of time. The candy and the bag are both expressions of parents’ wish that their children lead long, prosperous lives.”