Today is Kodomo no Hi or "Children’s Day" that is celebrated in Japan. A Japanese Festival in Honor of the Birth of Children, families fly Koinobori windsocks in the shape of a Koi at their house and throughout Japan. In Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination and strength, overcoming all obstacles to swim upstream to become a dragon.
Over two hundred years ago, Nishikigoi or Koi were introduced in Niigata, Japan and grown in mud ponds. This history of Koi dates back 2,000 years via China and Korea as before their colorful colors appeared in 1840, they were in mud ponds to supplement their diets for protein. Today, Koi are bred throughout the world, but only Koi that are bred and born in Japan are true Nishikigoi.
Every year, at The Koi Whisperer Sanctuary that I founded, we celebrate with Kids on the first Saturday of the month in honor of Kodomo no Hi, or Children's Day that is celebrated on 05 May every year. The Koi Whisperer's Kids for Koi program was established in 2011 and is a program that not only teaches Kids about Koi, or for Kids that own Koi... but to inspire each and every child on so many levels. Kids for Koi is an educational program to educate, inspire and enlighten kids on Koi Fish. They are the most widely collected fish in the world that kids love to hear stories about. Koi are colorful and friendly and the children learn and experience first hand how to care for these beautiful creatures.
At the Koi Whisperer Sanctuary, there are varieties of Koi for the Kids to see and interact with. The children experience first hand Koi that are different, Koi that heave health issues and challenges and Koi that are beautiful. A Hi Utsuri that is swimming up to greet the visitors, a fifteen pound Doitsu (scaleless Koi) that is owned by a Chicago Fireman that is being housed at the Koi Sanctuary, and a famous Koi named "Colonel" from the Fabyan Japanese Gardens that is staying at the Koi Sanctuary are all experiences for the kids to experience this this week. Even the Kids for Koi named Ki that is trained to work with the children swims over to see a child can be held in their hands when they come to visit. The kids connect, and so do the Koi.
Children's Day in Japan. Kids for Koi Day here in St. Charles, Illinois. On another level, I truly believe the Koi know they are helping the Kids. Making a difference for both the Koi and the Kids. They are our future Koi Keepers, and with their passion, this living art will live on.
Love and Light...
photography copyright 2013 MaryEllen Malinowski, Zen Living by design | Infrared Light Int'l infraredlight.com M@infraredlight.com
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