Japanese Festivals - Edo Nagashibina

Japanese Festivals - Edo Nagashibina
A part of the Hina Matsuri(Doll’s Festival), Edo Nagashibina is the floating of boats containing dolls on the river. Edo Nagashibina is the traditional custom of evicting all misfortune and evil spirit from the girl. It ensures a healthy life.

Little girls, dressed in bright kimonos, carry their doll, usually composed of paper or plant material, to the priest. The elder solemnly places the doll in the boat.

All misfortune clouding the girl’s future is in the doll. As the doll sails out of sight, down the river, so does the misfortune. Therefore, Edo Nagashibina is a purification and cleansing ceremony.

This practice began in the Heian Period. There are paintings and poems depicting the practice. It is not as common as it once was due to water pollution concerns.

Visitors are able to watch the ceremony. Edo Nagashibina takes place in the beginning of March. Check the local activity guide or newspaper for time and location.

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