header image

Doll Festival (ひなまつり) on March 3rd

Posted by: anave | February 26, 2009 Comments Off on Doll Festival (ひなまつり) on March 3rd |

The Doll Festival is on March 3rd, and is an annual event to pray for young girl’s growth and happiness. Most homes with girls display dolls, and dedicate to them peach blossoms, rice cake cubes(ひなあられ), special colored and diamond-shaped rice cakes(菱餅), and white sake(白酒), etc.
The origin of hinamatsuri is an ancient Chinese practice in which the body’s sin and misfortune are transferred to a doll and washed away by setting the doll in a river. When this practice spread to Japan, it was linked to girl’s playing with dolls, and in the Edo period, developed into hinamatsuri.As for hinamatsuri in my family, my mom would always cook chirashi (ちらし寿司) and soup with big clams(蛤の吸い物). Clam shells in food are considered the symbol of a united and peaceful couple, because a pair of clam shells can closely fit to each other. In addition, though it is not a customary food, we would have strawberry shortcake (because strawberries are seasonal). This made me really happy when I was a little girl. My hinamatsuri doll is a little doll with a music box that plays a special festival song, which my grandparents gave me when I was born. I used to sit in front of my dolls and play and sing the song all day long.


There is a superstition that says one will marry late in life if the dolls for the festival are left out after March 3rd. In fact, this probably comes from the desire to prevent mold from getting on the dolls, as March is approaching the rainy season according to the lunar calendar. My mom would always tell me that the dolls were going to get angry if I didn’t put them away, and I would never be married – and I believed it.
Well, recently people don’t care about traditional customs as much in Japan. They might not arrange their dolls, or they might not even have any. However, I think that traditional events can be good excuses to do something fun. I always appreciate and celebrate my happy life on the day of the Doll Festival. Why don’t we celebrate our wonderful lives together? Come to the Doll Festival, girls! We will be having a traditional Japanese sweet “Dorayaki” (Japanese pancake with redbeans). Party on!!!!!!
March 3, Tuesday
@Walton Hall 21 (Back on the LLC)
From 4:30pm-6pm

Any questions? contact Japanese Language Assistant at myamauch@willamette.edu

under: Traditional

Comments are closed.