Traditional Rite of Passage into a Adulthood and National Kombu Seaweed Day

There is lot of national day allover in world and so too, kombu has a national kombu day in Japan. In Japan, November 15th is the National Kombu seaweed day. However, it is more widely known for the day of shichigosan (七五三). It literally means seven-five-three in Japanese and it’s a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three and seven year old girls and three and fiver year old boys.
For this event originally, when girls are 3 years old, they are allowed to grow out their hair. For 5 years old boy, after this day they could wear a hakama, traditional Japanese clothing wore by men, while girls of age seven replaced the simple cords they used to tie their kimono with the traditional obi. It is consider to be turning in to adults.

七五三 / muratama

Nowadays it’s only a one day event and most people just visit shrine, take a photo with hakama or kimono on. Chitose Ame(千歳飴),literally “thousand year candy”, is given to children and is long, thin, red and white candy, which symbolizes healthy growth and longevity. It is given in a bag decorated with a crane and turtle, which represent long life in Japan.

Shichigosan gifts / geraldford

Kombu also is considered as auspicious food due to its rich nutrients and puns. Japanese word representing joy, yorokobu and kobu puns and is often used in many ceremonial events ingredients. For kids who reached shichigosan, eating kombu seaweed fill with rich nutrient hoping them to turn like kombu that grows fast absorbing all the sunlight, hoping for kid’s health and longevity. On top of that, kombu seaweed that was gathered during summer goes out on market so it also act as harvest festival celebrating nature’s blessing. Folks, it might not easy to eat kombu on November 15th but consider taking kombu seaweed in your daily diet!