Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival)

Gogeous Dan-kazari Hina dolls decorated with furniture, lanterns and flowers.

Originally “Hina” were handsome male dolls, which were used by girls to play in Heian Period (794 – 1192).

Image credit: chiz.blog.so-net.ne.jp

Today, March 3rd, is Hinamatsuri in Japan. It is a ceremony to pray for girl’s healthy growth and well-being.

It was believed that the milestone of things from the past seasons was considered to be easily lead evil into girl’s soul, and affect their physical and mental well-being. On this day, many rituals are held nationwide, for example, Hina dolls are floated on the river water for purification.

This festival is also called “Peach Festival” since the event is held the season of peach flowers. If you look up dictionaries, it is also called “Girls Festival” as this is a celebration for girls.

A girl in traditional Kimono image credit: degicameiroiro.ccocolog-nifty.com

Hina arare (rice crackers) especially made for this day image credit: gmo-toku.jp

In modern days, beautifully made dolls are displayed accompanied with peach flowers, some furniture and lanterns. Hina -arare (rice crackers), Hishi-mochi (diamond-shaped rice cakes), Shiro-zake (sweet drink made from fermented rice) are served to have a little party. Girls are dressed in traditional Kimono.

When Hina-arare and special candies arrive from my friend in Japan, that is the sign for me to decorate a compact version of Hina-ningyou (Hina dolls) for my daughter to celebrate this day.

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