Life's little milestones are important to me, and living abroad has opened my eyes to different cultural customs and how they are celebrated around the world.
For example, when my family lived in Japan we celebrated "Children's Day" on the Fifth of May. Children's Day (or Kodomo no Hi) is a day that is set aside to respect children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness. On this national holiday, families with boys hang beautifully colored carp kites called Koinobori outsides their houses. In Japanese culture, the carp (or koi) is known for its strength and determination and represents courage and perseverance. Each kite (one for each boy) symbolizes the families wish for their son to grow to be brave and strong.
This shared custom is quickly becoming a time honored tradition, and is found to be celebrated in at least 77 countries around the world. This year, I'm in Germany where Children's Day is not celebrated on the Universal date, (recommended by the United Nations of November 20th) but rather on the first of June (Internationaler Kindertag).
We take pride in celebrating our children everyday, but this year lets join together to become united and recognize those little miracles that keep us on our toes.
(Image copyright goes to my friend and awesome photographer: Ikuko Konno Johnson)