“Hinamatsuri” is the Doll Festival, which is the Girl’s Festival celebrated each year on March 3. It is also a seasonal festival called “Momo-no-sekku” which features peach blossoms.
A group of dolls dressed in traditional court dress of the Heian period called “Hinaningyo” are displayed in the home of the family that has a young daughter. The dolls represent members of the ancient imperial court, and displayed on tiers of shelves as seen in the picture.
The Emperor and the Empress (called “Dairi-Bina”「内裏雛」) are displayed on the top shelf, three court ladies (“Sannin-Kanjo”「三人官女」) each holding Sake equipment, five musicians (“Gonin Bayashi”「五人ばやし」),two ministers (“Udaijin” and “Sadaijin” 「右大臣と左大臣」), and three servants are typically arrayed below them. Small representative furniture and food are also displayed on the lower shelves.
The Emperor and the Empress (“Dairi-Bina”「内裏雛」)
“Hinamatsuri” dates from medieval times but the custom of displaying dolls in today’s fashion started around 18th century.
Families starts to display the dolls in February, and store them away immediately after the festival, as it is believed that leaving the dolls displayed late after the festival would result in late marriage for the daughter . The dolls are often passed from generations to generations, mother to daughter.
Typically, food such as below are served at “Hinamatsuri” festival.
- “Hina-Arare” 「ひなあられ」, bite size crackers
- “Hishimochi”「菱餅」, diamond shape rice cake
- “Shirozake” 「白酒」, sake made from fermented rice
- “Hamaguri” 「はまぐり」, clam with shells served with salt-base soup
- “Chirashi-Sushi” 「ちらし寿司」, scattered Sushi
“Hina-Arare” 「ひなあられ」 and “Hishimochi” 「菱餅」
For “Chirashi-Suchi”, please also find the article below.
【英語】Chirashi-Sushi : ひな祭りにも食される寿司の芸術、ちらし寿司
Please explore our “Japan Cool” page to learn more about the heart and essence of Japan and its culture.