Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival

Hina Matsuri is also known as the Doll Festival or Girls’ Day in Japan.  It’s a celebration of girls and held on March 3rd.  Traditionally, dolls were set afloat down a river to take away the bad spirits.  On this day, families with daughters display a tiered platform with red carpet and many dolls, including the Emperor and Empress, musicians, court ladies and many traditional tools and furniture.  In my family, we have a small set, which isn’t as elaborate as the full set, but it is quite nice to look at.  The display is set up in late February and taken down immediately after the festival.  Superstition says that if it is left out too long after the festival, the daughter will marry late.

Take a look at our Hina Doll set.

This is our Hina Doll set. It's a miniature set, so less elaborate than one of the big ones.

At the top are the Emperor and Empress. There are some lamp stands and a gold folding screen. The next level has the 3 court ladies, all holding sake equipment.

The third platform has 5 male musicians, including taiko drum, otsuzumi (large drum), kotsuzumi (small drum), the flute and a singer with a folding fan.

The fourth platform has 2 diamond shaped rice cakes and a couple of miniature trees, mandarin orange on the left and cherry on the right. The fifth platform shows various tools and furniture.

This is a miniature chest of drawers.

On the left are a couple of hibachi, I believe. On the right is a mirror stand.

Not exactly sure what these are, but my guess is for cooking.

The sixth platform has some more tools. The seventh platform has some food and drink.

This is a kago, or a kind of vehicle that is carried by two people. The passengers sit inside.

This is a chest for storing kimonos.

And this is a carriage pulled by an ox.

This is hina arare, which contains puffed rice and sugar candy.

This is gelatin in 3 coloured layers, pink, white and green.

This is a kind of peach juice.

If you live in Japan and have a daughter, do you also have a Hina Doll set?

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6 Comments

Filed under Culture, Festivals & Events

6 responses to “Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival

  1. Pingback: Busy weekend! Hina Matsuri and a photo studio visit « Foreign Dad in Japan

  2. That is a cute set and has all that you could need. Some of the sets can be really expensive. We love bringing out our set every year, but the big one for us is Boy’s Day in May 🙂

    Japan Australia

  3. Pingback: 2012 in Review | Jay Dee in Japan

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