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. From an 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)


  1. What a sweet custom for young girls, to wish them health and growth. The dolls are beautifully dressed in these photos, Miyako. xo

  2. What beautiful dolls! You have so many wonderful traditions in Japan. I wish we had more of those in North America.
    I used to have a Japanese doll when I was a little girl. I kept her on my dresser. She wore a lovely red kimono. Thank you, Orchid for sharing this. Much love to you. :)

  3. Love the video Miyako :) The dolls are just so sweet & yet again I have learnt of a Japanese tradition I was not aware of... so happy you share these great stories with us, it's wonderful to pass on traditions with these events to the next generation :)

  4. Interesting always interesting is your reading about the traditions of your home land....beautiful dolls....

  5. Dear Miyako, I love the video. And what beautiful dolls and such nice custom ^_^ It's always interesting to visit your blog, always something new to learn. Thank you!
    Have a great weekend!


  6. Hallo dear Miyako. Greetings to you. What delightful dolls, and such a good tradition. I agree with Belle, that your country does seem to have a lot of traditions, and it's good that people keep them going. As always, a delight to read about what goes on in Japan. Hugs to you from a cold part of England. (But not TOO cold really. My daughter in Paris tells me that it is -12 degrees today. Brrr! That's not funny. Enjoy the rest of the weekend my friend.

  7. Dear Miyako,
    What beautiful dolls. Seeing them displayed in this manner makes them all that much more impressive. The Japanese people have so many beautiful traditions and you sharing them on your blog makes your posts very interesting and enjoyable. I always leave here feeling like I've gained something. Have a wonderful weekend my dear friend. Hugs

  8. Good Morning Orchid,

    Apologize I have confused little bit with your name Orchid or Miyako?.
    By the way, Thank you so much for visiting my blog and follow me I do appreciate it much.
    Hina Matsuri day so awesome and the dolls so beautiful .. believe hand made thought aren't they?

    I wish you a happy weekend

  9. I grab your button if you don't mind;)

  10. Oh the song brings back to my childhood! I had Hinaningyo displayed every year, but I was not aware of the history for it. Thank you for sharing it with us :-)

    Miyako san, congratulations on your award! And thank you for passing this lovely award for us!! I feel so honored!!

  11. Miyako san..hello my friend! The dolls are beautiful! Such a lovely custom..Japan has so many! I wish here in the US we had more "special" days. I love the display of dolls. And I enjoyed the video so much!!!
    have a happy weekend!!!xo

  12. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love your posts and I always learn so much. Thank you, dear friend Miyako, for being such an interesting and informative teacher!

  13. Yet another custom I had never heard of. How fascinating Japan and her native peoples are to me. Thank you for continually surprising and educating me, Miyako.

  14. Oh Orchid, what a lovely festival! Thank you so much for teaching me about this wonderful custom. I love the belief that the dolls can carry away bad spirits and they are set to float in a boat upon the water. Very enchanting.

    I enjoyed the video immensely and had to watch it twice. Those children are so adorable! I would love to blow bubbles with them. ;-) Hugs to you my precious friend.