March 3rd Hinamatsuri: Doll’s Festival in Japan

Hinaningyo-Japanese dolls festival

Hinaningyo-Japanese dolls festival

Hinamatsuri (“Doll Festival”) is a Japanese festival which is celebrated on March 3rd. Hinamatsuri is for young girls, so Japanese families with young daughters celebrate this special day by displaying “ohinasama“. This festival has a long history, which used to be one of the important seasonal events of ancient China and has not developed into Japanese tradition.

Japanese families with young daughters celebrate this special event and wish for their daughters’ happiness. They decorate hina-ningyo (special dolls, replicas of an ancient emperor and empress and their subordinates). These ceremonial dolls may be handed down from generation to generation, but my parents bought a very simple one for us. This is a very festive celebration, but the dolls are displayed for several days in the house, and they are put away until the next year’s hinamatsuri.

Hinamatsuri is said to have originated about 1000 years ago in the Heian Period (794-1192). It is a traditional custom to display ceremonial dolls on tiers of shelves covered with scarlet red carpet. These dolls are dressed in the fashion of the people of the ancient court.


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