Culture Japanese Girls' Day & The Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri)

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As you go into a supermarket from the end of February to the beginning of March, you see a lot of pretty pink colored snacks being sold.

hina-arare-snacks-01.jpg Some more hina arare snacks lining the shelves of AEON in preparation for Girls' Day (also referred to momo no sekku) in Japan

They often come in a bag with a drawing of two people. These are called ‘hina-ningyo’ or ‘hina dolls’ which are observed for the doll festival that is for girls, celebrated in Japan every March 3rd.

In Japan, families with a daughter(s) display a set of beautiful hina dolls on a tier of five or seven shelves to celebrate and pray for their healthy growth and happiness.

Hina dan with hina dolls on display to be purchased on Girls' Day in Japan

The top two dolls represent the emperor and empress and they are dressed in the beautiful attire of the ancient imperial times. These lovely sets of hina dolls can easily cost around one thousand dollars in stores, therefore it is usually cherished as the family treasure and passed on from one generation to the next. Though, there are some dolls within reasonable price ranges too.

Inexpensive hina dolls for Japanese Girls' Day (March 3rd)

However, the best part of the hina doll festival is not just about the dolls!

The girls of the family, relatives, and friends gather together and celebrate it having ‘amazake’, a rice non-alcoholic liquor, as well as colorful sweets and snacks, specially made for the event.

The following day, the hina dolls are supposed to be put away quickly as it is considered to damage the daughter’s marriageable period if letting them stay out for too long.

If you have a daughter(s) and see those cute pink colored snacks sold, don’t miss the chance but to grab some for all to experience our wonderful culture in Okinawa and Japan!

Hishi mochi, amazake, and hina arare displayed on a table at home for Girls' Day in Japan

Happy Girls’ Day!
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of Okinawa.Org.
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About Author
Snow
Snow is the wife of @David, co-founder of Okinawa.Org, and a local national. She dedicates her time contributing posts about the Japanese language in the Language Corner forum as well as posts about Okinawan culture and other amazing things to do in Okinawa in the Okinawa blog.

Comments

I totally forgot that tomorrow is the hinamatsuri!
Gotta rush to the store for my nieces tomorrow. 😝
 
We would love any pictures of you celebrating the doll festival, so please feel free to post any pictures here if you take any!
 
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a lot of the culture in Okinawa interests me that I cant even begin to start where id want to learn about

Just anything.

Food too. being able to cook great food we can find off base would be nice if we knew the ingredients and could prepare something similar at home!
 
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