New Year’s Day, Oshogatsu is a time for peace and resolution. Houses are decorated with rice cake called Kagamimochi and gates are decorated with pine and bamboo called Kadomatsu. Traditionally Mochi was made from whole rice, in a labor-intensive process. The traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan is Mochitusuki. Osechi-ryori is special dishes for New Year.
March 3rd Girl's Day
It was originally called "Momo no sekku". Families pray for the happiness and prosperity and health of their girls. Tiered platforms for hina ningyo (hina dolls: a set of dolls representing the emperor, empress, attendants, and musicians in ancient court dress) are set up in the home, and hishimochi (diamond shaped rice cakes) and shirozake (rice malt with sake) are traditionally served.
May 5th - Boy's Day
It was originally called “Tango no sekku”. The carp shaped flags are raised. (In Chinese legend, a carp swims upstream and becomes a dragon.) A Kintaro doll and a traditional Japanese military helmet, Kabuto are displayed, which are symbols of a strong and healthy boy. Kashiwamochi, rice cakes filled with red beans wrapped in Kashiwa(oak) leaves, and chimaki, sweet rice wrapped in a bamboo leaf are traditionally served on the day.