Thursday, May 5, 2011

In Celebration

Today, many of you may be celebrating Cinco de Mayo and rightfully so. I would like to introduce you to the holiday that my family celebrates on the 5th day of the 5th month. Kodomo no hi, is Children's Day in Japan and it became a national holiday celebrating all children in 1948. We personally celebrate Tango no Sekku, which is Boy's Day and the original holiday celebrated by Japan on this day; which originated sometime around 593–628 A.D . The reason we celebrate the Boy's Day tradition is that we have two boys and what little kid doesn't want to have a special day?

This holiday is to celebrate the health and strength of boys, symbolized by the Kobuto or samurai helmet that you see pictured above (that is not a full sized helmet, but a model of one). It is also a day seen as an expression of gratitude for the mothers, since Mother's Day is an American idea. I usually set up the samurai helmet at least a few weeks earlier than May 5th and we hang our carp wind socks. We were lucky enough to be in Japan before Boy's Day last year and were able to find a carp for each family member. Traditionally these are put on a pole in order from the father to the youngest son, the colors corresponding to the birth order of each son (mom has the next place after dad). Ours hang on our porch and they have been waving like crazy with the amount of wind we have been experiencing this spring.

Carp wind socks before they got put up this year.

There is also a traditional sweet that is eaten on this day. It is a rice flour dumpling filled with adzuki bean paste and wrapped in an oak leaf, kashiwamochi. The oak leaf is for decoration only. Today I'm making my first attempt at the dumpling, so we'll see how that goes. It is very similar to dango, just with a different shape.

Pictured is a commercially made variety.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you may have caught the hint I dropped yesterday. Next year we need to either get another carp for our new addition, or start celebrating Boy's Day as Children's Day. Apparently, all the diet and exercise has paid off and the barren body I once thought I had after my 2nd son was born is now fertile. We will be expecting our third child sometime this winter and I hope to feel well enough to share some tidbits about being pregnant and gluten free.

That is part of the reason that I haven't posted nearly as often as I would have liked in the last month. One of the bonus' about knowing all your food sensitivities is that many of the foods that they tell you not to eat during pregnancy are already removed. I have had some morning sickness, which really manifests itself as all day sickness, but I haven't had the same aversion to certain foods due to the fact most of the ones that turned my stomach before are gone from my diet. I'm hoping not to crave Taco Bell this time around (especially now that I've read the ingredients, yuck!), but only time will tell.

As for running and exercising, I plan to continue but not with P90X or any serious race training. I'm no longer planning on any races at all this year (even just for fun), but watch out for me next year. Will see if I'm brave enough to post prego pics as I'm still in shock a bit myself and haven't even filled out my jeans enough to feel the need to go shopping.

Well, that is it from the Gluten Free, It's A Lifestyle home-front. I hope that you all have a marvelous Boy's Day (or Cinco de Mayo).


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