November is the month of “Seven-Five-Three” (In Japanese: Shichi Go San. This is literally seven five three.) The official day is November fifteenth, but that often falls on a weekday, so people will celebrate on the nearest weekend.
Shichi Go San is a holiday to celebrate girls who are age seven and three, and boys who are age five. In my photo is the local shinto shrine with a notice about Shichi Go San. Parents will dress their kids up (kids at those ages) in kimono, take photos of them, and take them to the shrine to pray.
My own son had his photo taken in a kimono at age five, but we did not go to a shrine. Kimonos are VERY expensive. (I’m talking about real kimonos, not fake ones.) So, like most people, we just borrowed one of the many kimonos at the photo studio for his photo. The photographer suggested a kimono with little picture of Pikachu on it. You don’t notice the Pikachu in the photo, but it was a brilliant way to get my son to put on the kimono agreeably. (He hated clothes at that time, and still hates fashion, etc.)
Girls are treated more lavishly–kimono AND professional hairdo AND professional makeup for their photos. It can be very expensive. The results are lovely, though.
This is the candy that children receive on shichi go san. Our church gives it out to all the children in November. (Not just kids aged seven, five, or three.)
It’s a hard and slightly sweet candy, and its name is Chitose Ame (千歳あめ)
The name literally means: Thousand Year Candy
As you can see, each bag has a crane on it…for long life and good luck.
As you can see, there are different kinds of Chitose packages for this holiday. I think they are really interesting!
Rakuten is an online shop similar to amazon and if you click on the link you can see examples: