Hina Matsuri -Girl's Festival-

In Japan, March 3rd is the Girl's Festival Day known as Hina-matsuri.  The highlight of this day is to dispaly dolls called hina-ningyo (hina dolls), which are dressed in beautiful costumes and represent the Emperor, Empress and the their court. And the family celebrate the growth of their girls.

How did this custom begin? There was a time-honored tradition that people purified themselves in a river, and it developed into a rite at the Imperial Court. Later on, hitogata, a human figure made of paper or cloth, would be thrown into the sea or river to purify instead. Gradually, hinagata figure became pretty dolls, and the dolls came to be displayed instead of being thrown into the sea. This is what we do today.

Other than hina dolls, rice cakes and peach blossoms are offered. Sweet white sake is also served as a celebratory beverage to celebrate the festival for girls.

Happy girl's festival day!
hina dolls shaped-chopstick rest  -by T-