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Doll Festival – Hinamatsuri

 

The Doll Festival is a well renowned event in Japan and this is celebrated on the 3rd of March every year. It is a special day within the Japanese culture and a moment set aside to praying for the happiness and growth of young girls.

Doll Festival (hina ningyo) Hinamatsuri
Doll Festival (hina ningyo) Hinamatsuri

 

The Doll Festival is also a long time practice in China in which the misfortune & sins of the body are conveyed to a doll, & then eliminated by leaving the doll float away on a river.

Majority of households honor this very day with exceptional dishes and a doll exhibition.

Most households with young ladies display hina ningyo, together with mild peach blossoms.

There is an irrational belief that if one does not put away the hina ningyo immediately after the 3rd of March – the daughter will suffer late marriage.

Traditional set of dolls are used for this event and these can be really costly. The sets come in various grades, and certain sets cost as much as a million yen or more. For this reason, sets are being handed down to families counting from generation to generation, or parents or grandparents purchase the set for their girl child by her first Hinamatsuri.

Food Dishes during the Festival

The festival is celebrated with certain few special dishes. There is the special Hishimochi which is rice cakes that is diamond-shaped. This is colored pink or red, green and white. The red stands to chase away evil spirits, the white stands for purity, while green represents health.

Other special food dishes for the doll festival include:

  • Chirashi-zushi
    Chirashi zushi
    Chirashi zushi
  • sakura-mochi
    sakura mochi
    sakura mochi
  • hina-arare
    hina arare
    hina arare
  • shirozake
    shirozake
    shirozake

Obviously, every home that has a girl child in Japan is expected to have ‘Hina Ningyo i.e. Hina Dolls. The dolls are nothing more but exceptionally gorgeous.

Back to the superstition of girls not being able to marry early if they don’t put away the hina ningyo immediately after the 3rd of March – this now sounds out of date in today’s Japan age since the populace mind has changed much over the last decades; meaning it isn’t many people that believe in it, most specially in urban places.

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