Kashiwa Mochi – Traditional Sweet prepared for Boys’ Festival on May 5
As you may know, Mochi (餅) is a traditional Japanese food that is known as Japanese rice cakes.
The sticky plain food is commonly used as a main ingredient for traditional Japanese sweets.
Speaking of Mochi sweets that represent this season, it can be said that Kashiwa Mochi is a representative of such sweets.
Kashiwa Mochi – Traditional Japanese Sweet prepared for Tango no Sekku (Children’s Day, Boys’ Festival) on May 5
Kashiwa Mochi (柏餅) is a traditional Japanese sweet prepared for Tango no Sekku (端午の節句), which is known as Children’s Day, in other words, the Boys’ Festival held on May 5 in Japan.
The soft mochi dough is made from the powdered non-glutinous rice called Joushinko (上新粉) and it is folded in two, between which sweet bean paste, or Anko (餡子), is sandwiched.
The reason why the mochi sweet is named Kashiwa Mochi is because the sweet is generally wrapped in the leaf of an oak called Kashiwa.
The reason why we Japanese prepare Kashiwa Mochi for Tango no Sekku (Children’s Day, Boys’ Festival)
The origin of Kashiwa Mochi dates back to the 18th century, when Tokugawa Shogun families ruled Japan.
At that time, a Mochi sweet became to be wrapped in Kashiwa leaves as the lucky charm for the prosperity of descendants.
This is because old Kashiwa leaves flutter down after new burgeons have roots in the tree.That inspired the idea that ‘Family line never fails.’
This is why Kashiwa Mochi is prepared and eaten on the Children’s Day, a Japanese national holiday to celebrate and wish boys’ healthy growth and happiness.
Whether Japanese people eat the oak tree leaf used for Kashiwa Mochi or not
To get straight to the point, we don’t eat the Kashiwa leaf because it isn’t edible in general.
(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia, ‘柏餅’)