Japanese Festivals - Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival)

Japanese Festivals - Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival)
Hina Matsuri or Doll Festival is a celebration in Japan on March 3. It also known as Girls' Day Festival. It is the day the Japanese celebrate their daughter’s health, growth and good fortune.

The festival is a good time to visit a shrine or temple. Little girls wear traditional kimonos. Their paper dolls are placed in a boat. Later the boat of paper dolls will sail away. The paper dolls embody the impurities and evil spirt of the girls. The boat sails away, keeping the evil spirits distant from the girls.

Afterwards, the family returns home. Family members drink the sweet, thick fermented sake(amazake). Sweet rice crackers(osenbei) and rice cakes (hishi-mochi) are eaten with the drink. During the celebrations, the family enjoys the Hina Dolls display.

The Hina dolls’ exhibition, erected weeks earlier, are in homes and many businesses. The Hina dolls represent people of the imperial court in ancient times. There is the prince, princess, court musicians, servants dressed in kimonos per their station in life. The dolls’ placement starts with the highest ranking on the top tier ending with the lowest on the bottom. Therefore, the prince and princess dolls are always on the top level.

Many tourists are not able to visit individual homes, but many stores have displays. There the tourist can see the Hina dolls. Take time to see the exquisite dolls. It is a great way to see the costumes of the ancient times. The details and expressions are splendid.

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