Today, Japan celebrates Hinamatsuri, 🎎 or Girl’s Day, a day to celebrate all the little girls across Japan, to pray and wish for young girls happiness and growth. On March 3rd, families with daughters display beautiful Hina dolls dressed in ancient costumes arranged on different steps. The dolls represent the emperor, empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period. Families arrange their dolls out for display beginning in mid-February and take down the display as close to March 3rd as possible. Traditionally, the dolls are to be put away by the day after Hinamatsuri, the superstition being that leaving the dolls any longer will result in a late marriage for the daughter or perhaps no marriage at all.
On this day, you will see little girls at the shrines wearing beautiful kimono’s with a hifu (a sleeveless padded outer vest worn by young children over their kimono. This set is available on Amazon Japan.
Families also celebrate by preparing Japanese sweets, sweet rice crackers, and temari sushi (traditional Japanese ball shaped sushi). At Mila’s school the kids made their own Hina dolls, and used them as puppets while singing to the song, Ureshii Hina-Matsuri
- Hanamatsuri is also called “Momo-no-Sekku,” which means “festival of peach,” as peach trees typically began to flower around this time of year.
- “Hina” means “doll,” and “Matsuri” means “festival.”
- “Momo” means “peach,” and “Sekku“ is another word for “festival.” The festival is also often called the Peach Festival hence why people drink peach tea while celebrating.
- In addition to home displays, many museums and exhibition centres have special events for Hinamatsuri