Hello everyone, I’m back with another info post!! I’ve recently been looking into Japanese national holidays and today, the 3rd of March, is Hina-Matsuri (‘Doll’s Day’ or ‘Girl’s Day’); this really had me wondering what they do for such a day, perhaps girls dress up as dolls for the day? Unfortunately not.
The day is important for those families with daughters as they wish them a happy and successful life, and quite often will have a special meal for their daughter; families with daughters will display a collection of dolls in their home and the dolls are usually displayed in February and taken down immediately after the festival. Superstition says that if you leave them past March 4th it will result in a late marriage for a daughter; the dolls are displayed with peach blossoms as it is also the day of the Peach Festival (Momo No Sekku) because of the peach blossom season on the old lunar calendar.
It was once believed in Japan that dolls could possess the power to contain bad spirits and bad luck; in ancient times, a custom called Hina-Nagashi (‘doll floating’) took place where people would set afloat straw hina dolls and send them down the river to the sea, but it was stopped because fishermen would catch them in their nets. Now they are sent out to sea, the boats would be taken out when everyone has finished watching before being taken to the temple to be burned.
Platforms are covered with a red carpet where the dolls are displayed; the ornamental dolls represent the Emperor, Empress, attendants and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period. Heian means ‘peace’ in Japanese and is the last division of classical Japanese history; it ran from 794-1185 and was named after the capital city of Heian-Kyo, or modern Kyoto.
The top tier dolls are the Emperor, holding a ritual baton, and the Empress, holding a fan, which are usually sat in front of a gold folding screen and placed beside green garden trees or lamp stands (bonbori). The second tier has three court ladies holding sake equipment; the third tier has five male musicians who are each holding a musical instrument except the singer who holds a fan; the fourth tier has two male ministers who are sometimes equipped with bows and arrows; the fifth tier holds three helpers or samurai as the protectors of the Emperor and Empress; and finally the sixth and seventh tiers hold a variety of miniature tools, furniture and carriages.
That’s all for this little post; I love that there are lots of little traditional ‘holidays’ that Japan celebrates with their family at home instead of it being this large-scale, expensive day; it’s very sweet that even the children get their own days where they are wished good fortune and happiness, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I just thought that this would be a cute little post to write, especially since I find all of the traditional arts to be so beautiful and intricate in Japan!
I wish all girls of the world a wonderful day and a life of good health, happiness and success!! Until next time~♥