KJ200704: Spring is Here! (4/4)
A New Year and Golden Week
March and April see two major changes in the lives of young people.
Some graduate from school and take jobs, becoming proper members of society―shakaijin. Others
leave home to continue their education. Entrance examinations for school are held in this period, and both
school and work begin anew. University students hold shinkan-konpa, a sort of enkai party for ewly-enrolled students ; the equivalent for shakaijin is the kansou-geikai.
Just as people are beginning to get used to their new environments, Golden Week begins. “Golden Week” is
the period spanning the end of April and the beginning of May, during which a number of national holidays are lined up in a row. Various popular sightseeing locations fill up with guests, and both bamboo hoot-gathering and digging for clams are popular activities.
The fifth of May is Child’s Day, also known as Tango no Sekku. People celebrate by eating chimaki, rice
cake wrapped in bamboo leaves, and kashiwa-mochi, rice cake wrapped in an oak(kashiwa)leaf. Houses with boy children fly distinctive carp streamers, and display their satsuki-ningyo, or “May dolls”