US $236

Hinamatsuri - Dolls Festival
Papers – Washi, Chiyogami, Optix, metallic
Framed size 508 x 406
What is it?
Hinamatsuri, also called Doll's Day or Girls' Day, is celebrated on 3 March of each year. The dolls displayed in this festival symbolize the wishes of parents for their daughter’s future prosperity, health and happiness. The display of dolls usually discontinues when the girls reach 10 years old.
The dolls are displayed on seven tiered platforms covered with a red material and represent a Heian period wedding. The dolls are usually referred to as the EmperorEmpress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the  period, along with accessories and food.
Some families will have fewer tiers and dolls as they are very expensive. They are handed down from older generations as heirlooms.
Festival Food
As with all festivals in Japan there are particular foods consumed. These  include: hina-arare  (rice crackers); hishi mochi (rice cakes) diamond shaped with coloured layers; chirashizushi  (raw fish and vegetables on rice in a bowl or bento box);  ichigo daifuku  (strawberries wrapped in adzuki bean paste); and ushiojiru  (clam soup, as clam shells represent a well joined pair or marriage). The customary drink is shirozake "white sake" which is non-alcoholic.
In ancient China, the 3rd day of the 3rd month was viewed as auspicious because the repeated odd numbers made it heavily yang. Due to the change in season people were more vulnerable to colds and other illnesses at this time. Men and women would cleanse themselves of impurities by brushing their bodies with dolls made of paper or straw and then ritually dispose of these dolls by sending them down a river.
In Japan, this ritual was adopted by the aristocratic classes in in the 8th century and later spread to other sections of the society. This ritual still happens in some places.
The festival was originally known as the Peach Festival, Momo no Sekku, peach trees flowered at this time and peaches were considered to have important healing properties.
The earliest record of displaying the dolls as part of the Peach Festival comes from 1625 for Emperor Go-Mizunoo's daughter Oki-ko. After Oki-ko succeeded her father as the Empress Meishō, Hinamatsuri legally became the name of the holiday in 1687.
Fun Facts
  • Girls and their mothers begin setting up the display a few days before 3 March and should put them away by the day after because leaving the dolls any longer will result in a late marriage for the daughter! These dolls were an important part of a wealthy young woman’s dowry.
  • Doll-makers began making elaborate dolls for the festival, some growing as tall as 1 meter high before laws were passed restricting their size.
  • As dolls became more expensive, tiers were added to the hinadan so that the expensive ones could be placed out of the reach of young children.

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