What is Hina Matsuri?
Hina Matsuri is a festival for girls. Family who has daughter celebrates Hina Matsuri to wish her healthy growth and happiness on March 3rd. They decorate Hina Ningyo in home and eat some specific foods. It is also known as Momo no Sekku (Japanese: 桃の節句) which means “Peach festival” because usually in the beginning of March peach blossoms will be at their peak and peach-tree is considered it is sacred tree and it has power to purge evil spirits. The origin of Hina Matsuri dates back to Edo period which is more than 300 years ago! Hina Matsuri is literally traditional Japanese culture and it is worth knowing what exactly Hina Matsuri is.
Hina Ningyo – Japanese Dolls
Hina Ningyo dresses in beautiful court-dress people in Heian period wear. It was Edo period when people started celebrating Hina Matsuri. Dolls are imitated with emperor, empress and their servants and displayed on a five or seven-tiered stand with small furnitures. People believe that those dolls would protect them from illness and bad luck. Usually grandparents from mother side will buy the dolls and give to the grandchild but it depends on the region.
3 Special foods
On Hina Matsuri, people enjoy some special foods!
#1 Hina Arare
Hina Arare is rice cracker colored with pink, green, yellow and white. Those colors remind us that spring has come. Hina Arare is regarded as healthy food because it contains a lot of proteins. Family wishes their daughter live healthily throughout year.
#2 Hishi Mochi
Hishi mochi is rhombus-shaped rice cake with three layers colored red, white and green. Each color has a meaning. Green means health and longevity, white means pure and pink means to ward off evil spirits.
#3 Chirashi Sushi
Chirashi sushi is a kind of sushi and the ingredients have meanings. Shrimp means longevity, lotus roots means daughter’s future is able to see her future because lotus roots have some holes. Chirashi sushi has many auspicious ingredients so it is appropriate for the occasion.
Hina Matsuri Tips
As I mentioned above, Hina Matsuri is the festival for girls to wish they grow healthy. There is another story about Hina Matsuri actually. Family better clear dolls away soon after the festival. Otherwise, she will be too late to get married like she will be left on the shelf! This is folklore about Hina Matsuri.