Japanese Doll's Festival


March 3rd is Japanese Doll’s Festival; Hinamatsuri,

a day to wish girls good health and long life.
Most families with daughters celebrate by displaying Hina Dolls.


The dolls are offered sweetened puffed rice crackers (Hinaarare),

white Sake containing rice malt (Shirozake),

Three colored diamond shaped rice cakes (Hishimochi),

and peach flowers. They are in Heian court costumes.


The dolls on the top shelf represent the Emperor and the Empress,
On the second shelf are three court ladies,
Five court musicians are on the third shelf,
On the fourth are government ministers,
And on the bottom shelf are three court officials.




In the ancient days, people made dolls by themselves

and threw the dolls into the river along with their offerings.
It was believed that sickness and ill-fortune would flow away

down the river with them.
In some areas, the custom of floating dolls down the river still exists.




Today, Hina Dolls are sold in specialty shops or department stores

but they are very expensive, so many people have smaller

and simpler sets of dolls, depending on the size of their houses.



Also, Many people make their original Hina Dolls with Origami papers.



Vernal Equinox Day: Ohigan

March 21st is Vernal Equinox Day, one of the national holidays.
Vernal Equinox Day is also called, “Ohigan”
People visit their family graves to pay respect to their ancestors on this day.

The most common food on these occasions is “Ohagi”,

soft rice-balls covered with sweet red bean paste.




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