Dolls’ Festival / Girls’ Festival

Doll’s Day is a holiday observed on March 3rd every year in Japan. Also called Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri, this holiday is one of the five seasonal festivals held on auspicious dates on the Chinese calendar. After the Gregorian calendar was adopted, these dates were fixed.

This festival has been called the Peach Festival because it falls around the date when peach trees begin to blossom. The purpose of this holiday is to pray for the happiness and health of young girls in Japan. On this day, families display Hina dolls in their homes and serve special foods that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also delicious.

Facts About Japan

We’ve come across some pretty interesting facts about Japan, so let’s go over them before we talk about how Doll’s Day is celebrated.

  • Although Japan is an archipelago with 6,852 islands, only about four of them make up the majority of Japan’s land area.
  • The Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area is home to over 38 million people.
  • Almost 70% of Japan is covered by forests.
  • The first Europeans to visit Japan were Portuguese.

Observing Doll’s Day/Girl’s Day in Japan

On this holiday, male and female seated dolls are put on display‚ÄĒsometimes in a depiction of a Heian period wedding, but more often depicted as the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Some of the more elaborate displays will include a multi-tier doll stand that features the entire royal court. This display of dolls is usually discontinued when the girl turns 10.

During this holiday, girls host parties with their friends where they serve traditional food such as rice crackers, sushi, and rice bowls with vegetables. A non-alcoholic sweet sake is often served on this day as well. All around Japan, ceremonies are also held where people make dolls out of straw and/or paper and send them down a river on a boat. This symbolizes the casting out of their sins and impurities.

Where is it celebrated?
Japan (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
March 3 Sunday
Next year (2025)
March 3 Monday
Last year (2023)
March 3 Friday