- March 3 -

Hinamatsuri - Doll's Festival

Hinamatsuri (Hina-matsuri, hina means dolls and matsuri means festival), also called  Doll's Day  or  Girls' Day , or

Hinamatsuri - Doll's Festival

Hinamatsuri (Hina-matsuri, hina means dolls and matsuri means festival), also called Doll's Day or Girls' Day, or "Momo no sekku (Peach Festival)" because of the peach blossom season on the old lunar calendar.

This day is a time to pray for the health and well being of young girls. Most homes with young girls will set up a display of hinaningyo (hina dolls). They offer rice crackers and other food to the dolls.

The dolls wear costumes of the imperial court during the Heian period (794-1192) and are placed on a tiered platform covered with red felt. The size of the dolls and number of steps vary, but usually the displays are of five or seven layers; single-tiered decorations with one male and one female doll are also common.

The top tier is reserved for the emperor and the empress. A miniature gilded folding screen is placed behind them, just like the real Imperial throne of the ancient court.

On the second tier are three ladies-in-waiting, and on the third are five male court musicians. Ministers sit on either side of trays of food on the fourth step, and the fifth row features guards flanked by an orange tree to the left and a cherry tree to the right.

The practice of displaying these dolls on the third day of the third month on the traditional Japanese calendar began during the Edo period (1603-1868). It started as a way of warding off evil spirits, with the dolls acting as a charm. Even today, people in some parts of the country release paper dolls into rivers after the festival, praying that the dolls take people's place in carrying away sickness and bad fortune.

Most families take their beautiful collection of dolls out of the closet around mid-February and put it away again as soon as Hina Matsuri is over. This is because of an old superstition that families that are slow in putting back the dolls have trouble marrying off their daughters.

As the festival has grown over the years the dolls have become more elaborate and more expensive. One can guess that people no longer want to set these little treasures to drift on a river. The trend now is to display the dolls on the house and save them for the following years' festivals. The main dolls used in the displays are "Odairi-sama," a prince and "Ohina-sama", a princess.

Source:
http://japanese.about.com/library/weekly/aa041897.htm
http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/explore/calendar/march/hinamatsuri.html

Categories:

More holidays on this day:

International Day for Ear and Hearing
Bulgaria Liberation Day

You may also like...

Interesting events from Special category.

Make Your Dream Come True Day

Make Your Dream Come True Day gives you the opportunity to do something to realize your goals and dreams. Whatever your dreams are, they usually don't come true without some effort on your part. So, today is the perfect opportunity to do something about it. On this day do something,...

Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day

Girl Scout Leader’s Day was first commemorated 25 years ago on April 22nd. Originally designed to honor adult volunteers who led Girl Scout troops, over the years Leader’s Day has evolved to recognize the contributions of volunteers throughout our Movement. It is now more appropriately...

International Tartan Day

International Tartan Day in Australia and New Zealand is celebrated on a local basis in most states on July 1, the anniversary of the Repeal Proclamation of 1782 annulling the Act of Proscription of 1747, which had made wearing tartan an offense punishable with up to seven years' transportation. ...

International Day of Friendship

International Friendship Day is a day for celebrating friendship. The day has been celebrated in several southern South American countries for many years, particularly in Paraguay, where the first World Friendship Day was proposed for 30 July 1958. On 27 April 2011 the General Assembly of the...

H day

Dagen H (H day), today mostly called 'Högertrafikomläggningen' ('The right-hand traffic diversion'), was the day, 3 September 1967, on which traffic in Sweden switched from driving on the left-hand side of the road to the right. The 'H' stands for 'Högertrafik', the Swedish word for 'right-hand...

International Students' Day

International Students' Day is an international observance of student community, held annually on November 17. Taking the day differently than its original meaning, a number of universities mark it, sometimes on a day other than November 17, for a nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of...

Download KeepIn Calendar

Enjoy the interesting stories even on your phone or tablet