Dolls’ Festival / Girls’ Festival
Doll’s Day is a holiday that’s observed on March 3rd every year in Japan. Also called Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri, this holiday is one of the five seasonal festivals that are held on auspicious dates on the Chinese calendar. After the Gregorian calendar was adopted, however, these dates were fixed.
This festival has been called the Peach Festival because it falls on the date around which peach trees begin to blossom. The purpose of this holiday is to pray for the happiness and health of the young girls of Japan. On this day, families display Hina dolls in the home and serve special foods that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also delicious as well.
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 that has 6,852 islands, only about 4 of them make up the majority of Japan’s land area.
- The Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area has over 38 million people.
- Almost 70% of Japan is covered in forests.
- The first Europeans to visit Japan were the Portuguese.
Observing Doll’s Day/Girl’s Day In Japan
On this holiday, male and female seated dolls are put on display—sometimes 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 have parties with their friends where they serve traditional food such as rice crackers, sushi, and rice bowls with veggies. 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 them casting out their sins and impurities.