Japanese Dolls Festival – Hinamatsuri

girls dayHinamatsuri, or Girls Day (also known as the Japanese Dolls festival) is celebrated on March 3. As I child I remember reading about the Japanese Dolls Festival – of Hinamatsuri. Wikipedia has a great article on the topic, which you can read with your child, especially if you have a girl.

I talked a little bit about the festival to my neighbour who is Japanese, and here is what I learnt based on my conversation with her and research. All in all, its a special day in Japan for girls, and are celebrated by displaying a kind of doll, and some snacks.Platforms or steps covered with red cloth is used to display dolls. The dolls have different roles or professions – such as emperor, empress, musician etc, and their placement on the steps represent their social hierarchy. 

It used to be very popular in earlier ages, but now the popularity is reducing as people no longer have the space for elaborate displays. Also, according to tradition, you need to put the dolls in their boxes very soon after the festival, or the girls in the family wont get married early. I kind of like this part of the tradition as it gets everyone to clean up soon whatever be the reason!

The more popular childrens festival in Japan is now childrens day which comes in May. But I thought I would share another spring festival to talk to your child about!

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  1. Tana

    This reminds me of “bommai kolu” in Tamil Nadu, though very different. Also the north-Indian festival celebrating little girls as Lakshmi, whose name is slipping my mind. Thanks for this unique post!

  2. Tana

    The name is Kanjak – it’s essentially the same as bommai kolu, done during the Navaratri time.

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