端午の節句= Tango no sekku ＋ Golden week!
= Dakara watashi onnanoko datte…
= I told you. I am a girl!
ゴールデンウイーク = Gooruden uiiku = Golden Week has just started in Japan so I will teach you about Japanese holidays in spring.
Holidays in Japanese is 祝日 = shukujitu or 国民の祝日= Kokumin no shukujitsu = National Holidays.
The literal meaning of 祝日= shukujitsu is
祝 = いわう／しゅく = to celebrate
日 = ひ／び／にち／か = day
People from older generations call it 旗日= hatabi = flag holiday because we fly the Japanese flag in front of office buildings or houses on National Holidays. But we rarely see the flag flying in front of regular houses on national holidays these days.
We also refer to holidays, days offs, and vacation (お)休み= (o)yasumi
Note : adding お(=o) in front of word makes it sound more polite or formal. (It doesn’t work with all words, though.)
= Ashita wa yasumi desu.
= It’s my day off tomorrow.
If you want to take a day off you ask your boss
= Sumimasen ga raishuu oyasumi wo itadakemasu ka?
= Can I have a day off next week?
Vacation is called 休暇= kyuuka
= Kyuka wo riyou shite ryokou ni ikitai.
= I would like to use my vacation time to go traveling.
A long vacation is called 長期休暇= chouki kyuuka
= Chouki kyuka wo toru
= to take a long vacation
Unless you are a student who can take a long vacation such as:
•春休み= haruyasumi = spring vacation, spring break
•夏休み= natsuyasumi = summer vacation
•冬休み= fuyuyasumi = winter vacation
you can’t take many days off if you work for a Japanese company.
★正月休み= shougatsu yasumi= New Year’s holidays
Dec. 31, Jan. 1, 2, 3 + or more (depending on the company)
★(お)盆休み= (O)bon yasumi = Bon holidays
August 13,14, 15or more (depending on the company)
And we are now in
★ゴールデンウイーク = gooruden uiiku = Golden Week
For short we also call it GW. GW lasts from the end of April until the beginning of May
The Japanese name is 黄金週間= ougon shuukan (黄金=ougon = gold(en) 週間=shuukan= week(s) but ゴールデンウイーク (= gooruden uiiku )= Golden Week is more common and we also write it as G.W. or GW
= Gooruden uiiku chuu wa dokomo konzatsu shimasu.
= It’s crowded everywhere during the Golden Week.
Ex. GW 明けに会おうか？
= Gooruden uiiku ake ni aou ka?
= Let’s get together after Golden Week!
•April 29th :昭和の日 = Showa no hi
It is used to be The Emperor’s Birthday =天皇誕生日 (= Tennou Tanjoubi) but from 1989 we changed the name of this national holiday to みどりの日(= Midori no hi) = Greenery Day and it was then changed to 昭和の日(=Shouwa no hi) in 2007
•May 3rd : 憲法記念日= Kenpou Kinenbi = Constitution Memorial Day
•May 4th : みどりの日 = Midori no hi = Greenery Day
•May 5th : こどもの日 = Kodomono hi =Children’s Day
*It is customary called “端午の節句” = Tango no sekku
Compared to other countries, Japan doesn’t have so many holidays.
So we have to appreciate these little holidays.
For example if you have a holiday on Monday or Saturday, it is called
連休 = renkyuu = consecutive holidays
= Renkuu wa dokomo konde irukara ie ni imasu.
= I will stay home because it is going to be crowded everywhere during the Golden Week.
= Kono renkyuu dokka iku?
= Are you going somewhere over the long holiday?
= Uun dokkomo ikanai.
= No, I won’t go anywhere.
Note : どっか(= dokka) is a casual way to say どこかへ(= dokokaye) or どこかに(= dokokani )= somewhere
どっこも (= dokkomo) is also a casual way to say どこにも(= dokonimo) = anywhere
If you have a three day weekend, you call it
３連休= san renkyuu= three consecutive day holidays, three day weekend
If you have a few holidays but there is an interval between the holidays, we call it
飛び石連休 = tobiishi renkyuu = series of holidays with an interval in between
Note : 飛び石= tobiishi means “stepping stones”
Long holidays are called:
大型連休 = oogata renkyuu = long holidays
Now, let’s talk about May 5th, also known as こどもの日 = Kodomono hi =Children’s Day.
We celebrate the well-being of children today but it is customarily called “端午の節句” (= Tango no sekku) and it was originally for boys.
Note : 端午= tango
•端(= hashi/tan) means ”the edge” / “the end”
•午= go means “noon” and it refers to “May”.
So 端午=tango means “the end of the season” which means the beginning of the new season.
節句 = sekku means special and important days to have traditional events.
(We have a Girls Day on March 3rd and it is called 雛祭り= Hinamatsuri = Doll’s festival or
桃の節句= momo no sekku →桃=momo= peaches )
OK, let’s take a look at the picture above.
= Dakara watashi onnanoko datte (itterudesho) !).
= I told you, I am a girl!
Note : だから(=dakara) usually mean “That’s why” “therefore” or “so” and used when you explain some reason.
= KInou wa taichou ga yokunaku ichinichi nete imashita. Dakara kurasu ye ikenakatta nodesu.
= I was under the weather all day yesterday. That is why I couldn’t go to class.
= Kinou kyuuryou ga detanda. Dakara ogotte ageru yo!
= I got paid yesterday. So I’ll treat you.
But we also use it when we want to add stress to a sentence.
For example if the listener made mistake disregarding your warning,
you would say,
(That’s why) I told you!
Ex. だから言ったでしょ！(female speech)
= Dakara itta desho!
Ex. だから言ったじゃない！(female speech /more casual)
= Dakara itta janai!
Ex. だから言っただろ！（Male speech, rough)
= Dakara itta daro!
Also we use it when we repeat something, rephrase what we meant, or bring up some obvious fact that the listener doesn’t get.
= Dakara watashi wa ikitaku naino!
= I told you, I don’t want to go!
Ex. だから俺はお前のことが好きなんだよ！(male speech )
= Dakara ore wa omae no koto ga sukinandayo!
= I told you (or Isn’t it obvious?/ You should know) I like you!
What Maggie Sensei is wearing is called 兜= かぶと= kabuto= traditional Samurai helmet
We still decorate 兜= かぶと= kabuto= traditional Samurai helmet, or 五月人形(=gogatsu ningyou) the literal meaning is May Dolls, they are traditional military commander dolls.
(It looks a bit scary for me..)
or raise 鯉のぼり= koinobori = carp shaped flags outside of your house if you have a boy in your family.
(Usually only when their boys are little.) because 鯉のぼり = koinobori =carp-shaped streamers represent success and strength.
吹き流し=fukinabashi=flying streamers、真鯉=Magoi=black carp、緋鯉=higoi= red carp、子鯉=kogoi=child carp (The color and number varies.)
(↑This picture is from Wikipedia)
Sometimes they hung them horizontally along the river.
Here’s a tradition children’s song : 鯉のぼり= koinobori
= Yane yori takai koinobori
= Carp streamers are higher than the roof
Note : comparative sentence :
B は(=wa) A より(=yori) + adjectve
A より(=yori)+ adjective +B
B is more (adjective ) than A
Ex. B はA より高い
= B wa A yori takai
= B is higher than A
= A yori takai B
= B which is higher than A = B is higher than A
= Ookii magoi wa otoosan
= The big black carp is the father
= Chiisai higoi wa kodomotachi
= The small red (scarlet) carps are the children
= Omoshirosou ni oyoideru
= They seem having fun swimming.
Note : ~そうに(=souni)+verb = Looks ~ doing something, having appearance of, seeming ~
= Oishisou ni tabeteiru.
= Eating something with gusto.
（From Maggie : You know what? I just realized one thing. This song doesn’t refer to a mother carp. And I thought mother carp were the red ones and the child carps were blue or other colors… megamaru-O )
And we eat 柏もち (= kashiwa mochi) sweetened rice cake wrapped with(=kashiwa)=oak leaf
Can you read the kanji 端午の節句= Tango no Sekku？ on the package below?
As you can see in the picture 菖蒲=Shoubu or アヤメ= ayame = Iris‘ flowers are symbols of May. Traditionally we bathe children in a bath with iris leaves hoping that they grow healthy.
They stuff 餡= an= sweet beans paste inside of かしわ餅= kashiwa mochi.
or ちまき(= chimaki )= sweetened ricecake wrapped with 笹(=sasa)=bamboo leaf
= Watashi wa nanarenkyuu desu. Urayamashii?
= I have seven long holidays. Are you jealous?