Hina-matsuri: Girl’s festival every March 3rd

Hina-matsuri is the girl’s festival or the Doll’s festival held on March 3rd, and is an occasion to display hina dolls and pray for young girls’ growth and happiness. This celebration originally began during the Edo period (1603-1867).
Families with girls traditionally are given hina dolls by members of the family from the mother’s side.
People display a set of hina dolls with peach blossoms, lozenge-shaped rice cakes called “hishimochi”, sweet rice crackers called “hina-arare,” and others, as dedication for dolls a few weeks before the festival.

Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel

This is a picture of hina doll decoration taken at the lobby of Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel late in February.

Hinadan, which is a five or seven-tiered stand for hina dolls with a red carpet, is really gorgeous. “Dairi-bina,” representing The Emperor and Empress, are placed on the highest tier, followed by the Minister of the Right and the Minister of the Left, three ladies of the court, and five court musicians down further. Only rich family can afford displaying a five- or seven-tiered stand since it is very expensive and needs a wide space.

Recently, small residences are dominant in Japan. That’s why the number of families who tends to simply display a set of The Emperor and Empress is increasing. During the time when hina dolls are on display, we enjoy seeing reasonable goods related to hina-matusuri in stores as well.

陶器の雛飾り

桃の花_絵手紙

Peach blossom_桃の花_絵手紙

折り紙ひな祭り

Origami: 雛祭りの折り紙

折り紙ひな祭り

Origami

3月3日の雛祭り 雛祭りは、3月3日に女子の成長と幸福を願う行事です。江戸時代(1603-1867)に現在の形になり、お祝いをするようになりました。 女の子のいる家庭では、母方の実家から雛人形を贈ってもらうのがしきたりとなっています。

数週間前から飾り始め、桃の花、菱餅、雛あられなどを雛人形に供えます。 赤い毛氈(もうせん)を敷いた雛壇は、多いもので7段にもなる豪華なセット。最上段には天皇・皇后を模した一対の「内裏雛」、以下に右大臣・左大臣、三人官女、五人囃子などが飾られます。 7段、5段となると、広い場所が必要となることから、裕福な家庭でしか難しいのが現状です。
最近では、狭い住宅が多いので、簡略化して、内裏雛だけをこぢんまり飾る家も増えています。 雛人形を飾っている時期は、お手頃の雛祭りグッズが多く店頭に並んでいるので、ひやかしも楽しいですね。

Sakura mochi: Cherry Blossom Rice Cake

桜餅

cherry flavored soft sweet rice cake

We enjoy eating a cherry blossom rice cake called “sakura mochi”, which is made of rice dumpling and bean paste (anko).
It is a seasonal pastry of Hina-matsuri, selling from February to March 3rd.

Hina dolls at Amanogawa Family

絵手紙_雛祭

絵手紙_雛祭り

I only have a set of “Dairi-bina”, which are “Odairi-sama’ (The Emperor) and ‘Ohina-sama’ (The Empress). Doll’s faces are different since they are handwritten respectively. Every year, when I take it out from a storage room and display them, I admire the beauty of the faces of Amanogawa’s dolls.
Japanese dolls are sensitive artworks, which have grace, and the good sense of craftsmen appears on the features of the dolls.
Commonly, Japanese believe that daughters will delay the chance to get married if a set of hina dolls isn’t put away immediately after March 3. It seems to come from the admonition that those who are slovenly will delay the marriageable age. 雛祭り hinaお内裏様 天野川家の雛人形 私のお雛さんは、お内裏様とお雛様しかない、内裏雛セットです。 人形のお顔は、ひとつひとつ手書きゆえに、皆ちがっています。年に一度物置から出してきて飾るのですが、そのたびに「なんと美しいお顔だろう」と天野川家の人形にほれぼれします。
日本人形は、気品があり、職人のセンスが顔立ちにも出てしまう繊細なアートです。
一般的に、3月3日が終わってすぐに仕舞わないと、「その分だけ娘が嫁に行くのが遅れる」と信じられています。おそらく、だらしのないことをすると、婚期が遅れるという戒めから来ている説だろうと思われます。