Friday 1 May 2009

Boys Day Carp Banner

Boys day is actually celebrated on May 5th but we will be away so we made the banner today.
Before the 5th, families raise the carp-shaped koinobori flags (carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, and the way the flags blow in the wind looks like they are swimming), supposedly one for each boy (or child) but many houses seem to have 3 flying no matter how many kids they have. Also families display a Kintarō doll usually riding on a large carp, and the traditional Japanese military helmet, kabuto. Kintarō and the kabutoare symbols of a strong and healthy boy.
 To make the banner you will need:
3 pieces of strong card - we used white and  painted it but you could used coloured card
plastic egg carton 
coloured tissue paper
bit of white paper

First cut the plastic egg carton so you have the two halves. Then cut that so you have a piece with 4 holes, one with 6 holes and one with 8 holes. Now you can cut your card, each piece of card needs a V cutting out of one end to make the tail shape and the whole thing needs to be a couple of inches longer than the egg carton section. You should end up with 3 different sized fish. As long as you can fit the egg carton and have enough room for an eye it will be fine. This sounds more complicated than it is, look at the picture below, that is the shape you need!
Paint the fish, we did a red, a blue and a yellow.
Use the white paper to cut out the eyes, colour them in as desired.
Stick you eyes on to the card.
Now scrunch up the tissue and put one scrunched piece in each hole of the egg carton.
Place the card face down on the egg carton then flip them both over at once. Stick it down with tape, if a three year old is doing this, expect to get through a LOT of tape.
Loop some bits of ribbon and staple to the top of the carp.
String up as a banner --taa daa.
If you don't have plastic egg cartons you could always paint the card ones. Or you could use the plastic ones and fill the holes with other goodies, glitter, pom-poms.....


  1. Oh this is way cool. I had no idea there was a Boy's Day too, but it totally makes sense. I learn so much here. Love the banner, I'll be linking.

  2. Hey Jo, I know you're going to be travelling soon, but I've tagged you, so please take it up whenever you can! Thanks!


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