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What to Give for a Japanese Shichi-Go-San Ceremony

The Shichi-Go-San ceremony is a significant milestone in Japanese culture, marking the growth and health of children. Discover traditional and modern gifts that respect this meaningful celebration, and learn how to choose the perfect present to convey your best wishes.

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A collection of items traditionally given during a Japanese Shichi-Go-San ceremony, a festival celebrated by three and seven-year-old girls and three and five-year-old boys. Arrange items such as Chitose Ame, a long, thin, red and white candy that symbolizes longevity and healthy growth, and other gifts commonly offered such as traditional Japanese clothing, and various vividly colored items symbolizing good health and growth. Please do not include any human figures in the display. The scene should evoke celebratory and festive emotions.

Understanding Shichi-Go-San

Shichi-Go-San is a traditional rite of passage and festival in Japan for three- and seven-year-old girls and three- and five-year-old boys, held annually on November 15 to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. As it is not a national holiday, it is generally observed on the nearest weekend.

Traditional Gifts for Shichi-Go-San

Gift-giving is an integral part of this celebration. Here are some traditional and appropriate gifts:

  • Chitose Ame: These are long, thin, red and white candy sticks that symbolize healthy growth and longevity. They come in a bag that is decorated with turtles and cranes, which are also symbols of a long life.
  • Kimono or Hakama: Traditional formal clothing like a kimono for girls or a hakama for boys are popular gifts. These garments are worn by the children on the day of the ceremony.
  • Sensu & Ojuzu: A folding fan (sensu) and a set of Buddhist prayer beads (ojuzu) are often given as gifts to children during this ceremony as symbols of growing maturity and wisdom.

Modern Gift Ideas

In modern times, while traditional gifts remain popular, many people also give more contemporary gifts such as:

  • Educational Toys: Toys that stimulate learning and creativity, such as building blocks or art supplies, are excellent choices.
  • Savings Bonds or Money: It is also common to give a small envelope containing money, which is considered a practical gift to help with future education costs.
  • Books: Storybooks and picture books that children can enjoy as they grow older make for thoughtful presents.

Experiencing the Celebration

Participating in Shichi-Go-San involves visiting a shrine where children often wear traditional dress. Families will usually have a photographer take professional photos of the child, and later, they may share a special meal to commemorate the day.

Respecting Traditions

When selecting a gift, it is essential to consider the family’s traditions and personal preferences. Some families may prefer more traditional gifts, while others may appreciate contemporary items that can be used in everyday life.

Conclusion

The Shichi-Go-San ceremony is a beautiful celebration of childhood in Japanese culture. When giving a gift, the most vital consideration is to choose something that comes from the heart and honors the child’s growth and well-being.

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Avery Ingram

Avery Ingram

Contributor

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