Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Girls' Day" or " Doll Festival"

Hina Matsuri "Girls' Day"  
March 3rd is Doll Festival or Girls' Day ←link,  the traditional Japanese festival held to wish girls both health and growth. Hina means doll and matsuri means festival. 
The dolls are decorated after (Feb.3) Setubun ←link for my post   and until probably before 10th of March. (It is said that if you are displaying them so long, the girl might miss the chance to marry, maybe one of the superstitions, haha)
The custom of displaying dolls began during the Heian period (about 800~1200). Formerly, people believed the dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits. Froman ancient Japanese
 custom, straw hina dolls are set afloat on a boat and sent down a river to the sea, supposedly taking troubles or bad spirits with them.  
Usually, grandparents buy the set to their granddaughter. The two most important dolls on top of the tiered stand are the Emperor and Empress. Girls also dress up specially on this day in their best kimonos.
Hina Doll (Hinaningyo)   link← for the pictures

nursery rhyme for the day from You-tube

Akari wo tsukemasho bonbori ni
O hana wo agemasho momo no hana
Gonin bayashi no fue daiko
Kyou wa tanoshii hina matsuri

(English Translation)
Let's light the lanterns on the tiered stand.
Let's put peach blossoms on the tiered stand.*
Five court musicians are playing flutes and drums.
Today is a happy Dolls' Festival.

(sorry that I found only short part of the song)

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