Shichi-go-san is a festival to celebrate the growth of children. Around November 15, girls of seven, boys of five and three-year-old children of either sex are taken to local shrines by their parents to give thanks and pray for divine blessing.
This tradition was started in the 9th century by aristocrats and later it passed to the samurai class who added a number of rituals.
Shichi-go-san literally means "seven-five-three" in Japanese.These ages were thought to be important in a child’s life.The age of three marked the first time whereby both boys and girls were allowed to let their hair grow. At the age of five a young boy celebrated wearing his first hakama pants in public, while at the age of seven, a young girl celebrated wearing her fist obi sash.
Today I went to a local shrine to see Shichi-go-san children. Luckily I found two families there. Both parents took pictures merrily to record the special day. They looked very happy. But a cute three-year-old girl looked unwilling to wear a kimono. I remembered my daughter's three-year-old celebration. We had a hard time to take a picture because she hated to wear a tight-fit kimono and wanted to doff it. It was 24 years ago. Now she is a mother.