Monday, 1 March 2010

Happy Girls' Day!!

When I was little, I always enjoyed displaying Hina doll with my mother. Everything is so tiny and I was really excited to take many small parts and decorations out from many different size boxes and place them on the shelf.

We say, if you display hina doll too long (after 3rd March) the daughter would get marry later in life. My hina doll were displayed almost end of March every year. My mother was telling me hina doll could see sun light once in a year so that's why we should display as long as we can, but I thought I won't be able to get marry with anybody when I grow up.....

The Japanese "Girls' Day" or "Doll Festival" is held on 3rd of March.
Families with daughters celebrate it by displaying Hina Dolls on a stepped shelf to express the wish for their daughters' good health and growth.
The custom of displaying dolls began during the Heian period. Formerly, people believed the dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits.
The customary drink for the festival is "shiro zake"(white sake) and eat "hishimochi", "chirashi zushi" and "hina arare". And clam shells in food are deemed the symbol of a united and peaceful couple, because a pair of clam shells fits perfectly, and no pair but the original pair can do so.
The dolls are dressed in such a gorgeous kimono modeled after those worm by women in the ancient Heian court (794-1192). Hina (empress) and Dairi (emperor) sit on the top shelf, followed by three ladies of the court, five court musicians, escorts and guards.

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