Monday, February 23, 2015

ひなまつり Hinamatsuri - Doll Festival or Girls' Day

 March 3

Girls' Day or Doll's Festival is celebrated on the March 3 each year. At this time families put the festive dolls out. They are usually set up around mid February, but the belief is that if they are not taken down by the March 3 their daughters will not marry. 

The dolls are dressed in costumes that date back to the Heian period of time (794- 1192AD) 

Top Row - Left is Emperior and Right is Empress
2nd Row Three ladies in waiting
3rd Row  Five Musicians, two drummers on the left and
three flute players on the right
4th Row Two Ministers on either side of the food
5th Row Three guards in the middle of the orange tree
on the left and the cherry tree on the right.
6th & 7th Rows Furniture and Carriages

This festival is said to have started in the Edo Period (1603 - 1868). At that time the dolls were used as a form of lucky charm to ward of sickness and bad fortune.  The practice at that time was to make paper dolls and float them in the river sending the bad fortune away. In the present time the decorative dolls are displayed and it is hoped that by displaying them the dolls will take away illness and bad fortune.

In Japanese family they often have a festival meal on March 3 and it is often the custom to ask a male friend to attend.
Hishimochi (Sticky rice cake)
Chirashizushi (Mixed rice salad)

Hinaarare (Hard sweets)