Friday, May 5, 2017

からりと晴れ上がった今日は端午の節句。ご近所のお菓子屋さんから我が家の武者人形のお供えにと柏餅をいただきました。「端午の節句に柏餅」その由来をネットで調べてみました。古代より柏の葉は神様へのお供え物をもる為の器として使われていたことから柏の木は神聖なものとされていました。また柏は冬を越えて新芽が出るまで古い葉が落ちない特性から子孫繁栄の意味が込められるようになったそうです。つまり柏餅は縁起の良い食べ物で武家だけでなく庶民の間でも端午の節句の食べ物として定着したとのことです。Today was Children's Day, and it was clear and sunny. The origin of Children's day is Boy's festival. Early in the morning, my neighbour who runs a sweets shop came to bring Kashiwa-mochi for offering to the warrior dolls in the guest room. What a lovely gift ! I humbly received those traditional Japanese sweets from them. Kashiwa-mochi is a rice cake wrapped in a Japanese Emperor Oak leaf (different kind oak from the US) and it is traditionally eaten on Children's day. People in the old days thought that the oak tree is a sacred tree, and its leaves can be used for making offerings. The oak does not lose its old leaf until a sprout appears over the winter, so it was symbol of prosperity of descendants. Therefore Kashiwa-mochi is a food for good luck and it became popular as a sweet for Boy's festival not only among the samurai class but also among the common people.