What is Hinamatsuri or Girl’s Day Like in Japan? When is it?
Have you heard of Hinamatsuri? It’s a day for girls and Japanese celebrate it every year. This post introduces basic information about Hinamatsuri.
What is Hinamatsuri?
Family members would celebrate Hinamatsuri if they have girls in their family.
Hinamatsuri is the day to wish and celebrate health of girls. Japanese usually display Hina-ningyo (ornamental dolls) which represent Empress, Emperor, attendants and musicians from Heian period.
Full set of Hina-ningyo with 7 Platforms
Its history originates in Heian period (794-1185). People used to set dolls afloat to remove bad spirits and troubles in the river.
At the beginning, this practice was done among loyal families.
It then became popular among other people during Edo period (1603-1868) and they started to display dolls instead of setting afloat in the river.
When is Hinamatsuri?
Hinamatsuri is on March 3rd. It’s Friday this year, 2017.
It’s not a holiday in Japan, so most parents go work during the day if necessary and probably celebrate it after work.
What do Japanese do on Hinamatsuri?
A pair of Empress and Emperor
Before Hinamatsuri, parents start to display Hina-ningyo (ornamental dolls).
These dolls have various kinds. Some of them have only one doll, while others have more than 5 dolls. Full sets of Hina-ningyo typically include Empress, Emperor, musicians and attendants.
There is no strict rule but people from Kanto area (near Tokyo) tend to display Hina-ningyo between the beginning of February and March 3rd, whereas people from Kansai (near Osaka) tend to display them between March 3rd and April 3rd.
The typical Hinamatsuri meal consists sushi and Hamaguri (hard clam) soup but it depends on family. Some families might cook what their daughter(s) like(s).
One of the popular items for Hinamatsuri is Hina-arare, which is colourful sweets for Hinamatsuri. It’s made of sticky rice, beans and sugar. It’s very light and most girls like it.
Hina-arare, eaten on Hinamatsuri
When I was a kid, there were superstitious beliefs that displaying Hina-ningyo after March 3rd makes girls marry late. But as this is not based on scientific evidence, some people don’t believe it.
What about Boys?
Hinamtasuri is exclusively for girls. So what about boys?
There is Children’s Day in May. Japanese wish and celebrate health of boys on that day.
How Much is Hina-ningyo?
The price of dolls varies depending on the size and brand.
For instance, the most gorgeous Hina-ningyo have 7 platforms with 15 dolls and it could cost over 4,000,000 yen(!!) But of course there are cheaper ones like 200,000 yen to 300,000 yen.
For 3 platforms, the price ranges between 100,000 yen and 300,000 yen.
If you like small ones, get a pair of Empress and Emperor, which costs below 50,000 yen.
It IS expensive! I know!!
My family used to display Hina-ningyo before Hinamatsuri when I was a kid. I didn’t know history of Hinamatsuri but just liked to see the dolls.
Getting a set of Hina-ningyo could cost a lot and need space so you don’t have to get gorgeous ones.
It’s important to understand the concept of Hinamatsuri and wish your daughters health and growth.
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