Culture/History

Hinamatsuri – Girl’s Day in Japan

02/20/2020

What is Hinamatsuri?

March 3rd is called a “Hinamatsuri” day in Japan to celebrate female children and pray for their continued health and happiness. It is also known as “Momo no Sekku”, peach festival, where families display ceramic dolls dressed in the ornate, decorative robes of the ancient imperial court (“Hina-ningyo”). The tradition to celebrate Girl’s Day started during the Heian period (794–1185).

Momo no sekku is also called “Joshi or Jomi no sekku” which used to involve purification rituals by using paper dolls called hitogata. The old tradition of sending the paper dolls on a river to ward off one’s impurities and sin with them is considered the root of Nagashi-bina (“Doll-floating”) on Hinamatsuri. The hinamatsuri gradually became a time to give thanks for the health and development of young girls, thanks to the influence of a traditional form of doll play called hina-asobi.

These days, on Hinamatsuri day, families celebrate it with special food, decorating hina-ningyo and peach-blossoms in a house. If you have a girl baby who is celebrating her first Momo no sekku, the celebration is called “Hatsu sekku” where family members wish the girl baby to grow up happy and healthy.

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