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Holidays The story of Hinamatsuri, Doll's Day, Girls' Day and Peach Festival

Click for video: Hinamatsuri, Doll's Day, Girls' Day and Peach Festival.

Today we’re talking about Hinamatsuri or Doll's Day, Girls' Day and Peach Festival. It’s held on March 3rd every year. This tradition has its beginnings in an ancient Japanese belief that bad luck and impurity can be transferred to dolls, thrown or placed into rivers. This was adapted into the festival around the Edo Period (1603 - 1868) when people started to celebrate it by putting Hina dolls up on stands for a short period of time.

The holiday is an opportunity for parents to pray for the happiness and wellbeing of their daughters. Most families with girls display Hina dolls in their homes.

Doll sets can cost anywhere from 700$ US to over 2600$ US for a 5 tier set pictured here, and it is modelled after the imperial Heian period wedding. The bottom, sixth and seventh tiers include items used inside the palace or holiday, such as furniture, mirrors, storage chests, and utensils. The fifth tier holds the three helpers, the laughing drinker, the angry drinker, and the sad drinker, displayed along with a sakura tree and an orange tree. Next on the fourth tier are the two ministers acting as guardians along with gifts for the couple. On the third tier are the musicians of the court. The second tier sits the court ladies who serve drinks to the couple. The first tier holds the emperor and empress imperial dolls. Here is an example of the one-tier set I mentioned before. And this is a sample of a Kanto set, whereas the previous set of imperial couples are from western Japan.

Special food for Hinamatsuri is chirashizushi, a type of dish made from the roots of the lotus, shrimp, and thinly shredded egg on top of the vinegar rice. The lotus root is said to give one the power to see what will happen in the future, and the shrimps are a symbol of longevity.

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