May 5th is “Children’s Day” in Japan, and most of the people celebrate this on that day by raising the carp-shaped streamers is called “Koinobori” in Japanese.
However, in SADO island, locals celebrate this day on June 5th following by a new calendar.
Until World War II, Children’s Day was called “Tango no Sekku,” and it’s also called “Shobu no Sekku”.
Shobu is blue iris in Japanese, and people call it with that name because that flowers come open in June.
Here in SADO, people have a traditional custom to bundle the iris together with mugwort and Japanese torreya, and hang it upside down at the entrance door.
We believe that it has the power of protecting us from evil spirit and illness.
After hanging it there, we put it in the bath tub when we take a bath to get the power.
Also, we make special rice cakes covered that leaves and have it on that day.
After boiling these leaves, we put the boiled water around our house to protect our house from evil and insect pests.
June is rainy season, and more people used to get sick easily due to the humidity and high temperature, so old people try to protect themselves from sickness with that strong and fresh herbal smell.
In China, these herbs have been used for being relax, improve blood circulation, backache, cold sensitivity, muscle ache and rheumatism.