Tango no sekku (Children’s Day)

It will soon be ‘Golden Week’ vacation that includes four national holidays, beginning from April 29 (Showa Day) and ending on May 5 (Children’s Day).
May 5th is traditionally called ‘Tango no sekku,’ and is also currently called ‘Children’s Day.’ On this day, we celebrate boys’ health and growth; while the Girls’ Festival is known as Hina-matsuri (literally Doll’s Festival) on March 3rd.
Tango no sekku originally started in the Nara period (710–794) at the Imperial Court of Japan, on the day of Tango, which was May 5th of Japan’s old lunar calendar and marked the change of seasons, as a habit of taking a Shōbu-yu (bath in which bundles of Japanese iris are floating) and drinking Shōbu-sake (liquor in which an iris leaf is soaked), because it was believed that iris was good for health and had apotropaic effects. And then it became a seasonal event to expel evil and disease.
Later, with the rise of the samurai (warrior) class, Tango no sekku came to be celebrated because the Japanese name of iris (Shōbu) is a homophone of their martial (Shōbu) ethos.
Eventually this event became prevalent in townsman society in the middle of the Edo period (1603–1868) as a celebration of the birth and growth of boys, which has been continued until today.
During ‘Golden Week’ vacation, it would be nice to be relaxed by taking a Shōbu-yu as well as to prevent infection.