Hinamatsuri-Girl’s Festival

March 3 is Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival or Girls’ Festival) when Japanese people pray for the happiness and healthy growth of girls. Families with young daughters mark this day by setting up a display of dolls inside the house. The dolls are fairly expensive; they can cost over $10,000 depending on quality. The average is $1,500 to $2000. One can get simply an Emperor and Empress set upto a complete seven-platform set of fifteen dolls including sanninkanjo (three court ladies) and goninbayashi (five musicians). Those dolls wear the traditional court dress of the Heian period (794-1185).

There are all sorts of less expensive dolls. They may be as simple as folded paper. It is fine as long as the display has a male doll and a female doll which represent a Heian period wedding.

Hina Dolls

During Hinamatsuri and the preceding days, girls hold parties with their friends. On this occasion the typical foods are hinaarare (colored ball rice puff), hishi mochi (multicolored rice cakes-pink, white, green.) The customary drink is amazake (non-alcoholic sweet sake). Chirashizushi (scattered sushi) is served on a plate or in a bowl with colorful topping. In the picture below (left) the chirashizushi is assorted with sliced lotus root, eggs, pink shrimps, and julienned snow peas.

Boys have their celebration day on May 5. Originally only this day was celebrating boys, but later on, this day became a national holiday including both male and female children and called the day “Children’s Day.”