In New Years, Japanese children play Hagoita; Japanese traditional badiminton, which originates from a cultural practice to avoid plagues.
People likened the shuttle to a mosquito carrying the plague, and believed the longer the shuttle cock remains in the air, greater the protection becomes.
In Muromachi-era(A.D.1338 to 1573), Hagoita separated into two main types, first type was the original racket for playing, and the second one was to decorate in the house. The later one became much more common, as a gift for a new born girl for New Years in the Edo-era(1603 - 1868).
On the other hand, Hamayumi are decorated for new born boys in New Years.
This tradition is said to be started in the Kamakura-Era(1185 - 1333), when samurais gained more social power.
Hamayumi is a special bow, which is believed to have the power to drive off evil and showed bravery.
Both Hagoita and Hamayumi are New Year's display gift for new born babies.
According to the Japanese Lunar calendar, from December to January is a term for bad luck, which is said to be the reason why people created this tradition to protect and wish their baby a safe life without any tragedy.
In 3rd March, Japanese families who have girls celebrate Hina festival; decorating Hina-Dolls which are dressed up as the emperor and the empress getting married in the imperial court.
This activity is said to originate from rituals commonly held in the Heian-Era(794 -1185), where people used dolls to take away the bad spirits.
This custom was then mixed with play house which was popular for children at the time,
and formed the original shape of Hina festivals.
In Edo-Era,Hina festivals became more popular for people to wish good luck for their girls, and the Hina-dolls became more gorgeous and decorative.
Hina-dolls became much more meaningful than just a mere doll, but more like a guardian spirit.
Hina-dolls will decorate the pleasant moments for girls, and will protect them until they grow up and become independent.
In Japan, nowadays 5th May is Children's Day, when families get together and wish good luck for their son by displaying Gogatsu-Dolls: a special helmets and armors, or a special doll dressing up as a samurai.
Children's Day was originally called Tango-no-Sekku; the Boy's festival,
which has a long history dating back to the Heian-Era(794 - 1185).
When Boy's festival became popular to the merchants in the Edo-Era(1603 - 1868), people started to display dolls that are dressed up as Samurai wishing their son to become a strong and honourable man when they grow up.
The armor and helmet are the symbol of strength and bravery of samurai, where families entrust it with the hope and wishs.
Bon festival is an event when ancestor's spirits are believed to return home from the next world, and spend time with their family.
This event originates in a Buddhist origin telling the importance of filial piety, which is said to be introduced to Japan in around A.D. 593 to A.D. 628.
Bon festival begins with setting a Mukae-bi; an open air fire, and putting a Bon Chochin; Japanese Lantern, on the entrance of the house to welcome the spirit of the ancestors.
Bon Lanterns will lighten up the path for the spirits to give a sign to lead them to their home, and it is an important occasion for families to get together and share time to hold service for their ancestors.