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Annual Events in Japan

March: Hina Matsuri

What day is March 3rd?

March 3rd is Momonosekku, the Dolls Festival, when people pray for the happy growth of girls. Families with girls display Hina Ningyo (Hina dolls) and make offerings of hishi mochi, sweet white sake, roasted mochi, and peach flowers.
In the past there was a practice in China of purifying oneself by the waterside on the third of March. This festival was combined with the ancient Japanese practice of nagashi-bina and playing with dolls, popular among the girls of the nobility. This became the seasonal holiday of Hina Masturi. Nagashi-bina was the custom of making simple dolls out of paper or flowers. The doll would be sent down the river as a representative of an actual girl in the hopes that sickness or ill fortune would be carried away as well. In time, the practice changed from floating the dolls away downstream to the current practice of displaying a collection of dolls.
Hinamatsuri was originally a tradition of the nobility. However, beginning in the Edo period, the practice spread to common people wishing growth and good fortune for girls. Hinaningyo (Hina dolls) have become the stand-in for young girls, taking away the misfortunes that might befall girls. The dolls are dressed up and the happiness of young girls is prayed for.

A Happy Hinamatsuri♪♪

Verse One:
Light the paper lanterns
Give flowers, peach blossoms
Five musicians with flute and drum
This day is happy, Hina Matsuri

Verse Two:
The Emperor and Hina Dolls
The two lined up, with straight faces
My older sister, the bride
Her face white like a court lady

Verse Three:
The light on the gold folding screen
Gently flickers in the spring breeze
Did you drink the white sake
The minister of the right with the red face

Verse four:
Change into the kimono, fasten the belt
Today is my finest moment
This is a special spring day
There is nothing happier than Hinamatsuri