The "Momonosekku" is a spring festival that shall be celebrated on March 3. This festival is also known as the "Hinamatsuri", on this day, people will take some traditional activities such as dressing up dolls or eating special cuisine of Momonosekku to pray for girls'healthy growth and getting happiness. This time, I will introduce to you this "Hinamatsuri".
The Hinamatsuri is originated in China. On March 3 in ancient China, people had the custom of cleaning the body by the river. During Heian period, this custom was introduced to Japan and evolved into a new custom called "doll floating",in which people put their own disaster to a simple doll made of paper and straw, and then set them afloat on a boat and sent down a river to the sea, supposedly carrying away one's troubles or bad spirits.
Later, the Hinamatsuri began to be known as the "Momonosekku", it is said that because the peach trees will be in blossom around March 3 of lunar calendar, while the peach blossom has the effect of driving away the evil. By dressing up the dolls, people pray that the disaster should not strike on their girls, they would grow healthily and beautifully and spend a happy life, so this festival was changed to today's Hinamatsuri that pray for girls' healthy growth.
The dolls are generally dressed up 2 to 3 weeks before the Hinamatsuri. There are various of types of dolls, not only the 5〜7 tiers gorgeous dolls, but also the simple dolls such as Emperor and Empress dolls or ordinary costume dolls. On March 3, people will eat Chirashizushi, wearing kimono and taking photos with costume dolls. And Many families will bring their baby who celebrates her first Hinamatsuri to visit the shrine.
Cuisine Eaten on Hinamatsuri
Ushiojiru. As the representative food to celebrate Hinamatsuri, Ushiojiru is the symbol of a united and peaceful couple.
Chirashizushi. Because such cuisine uses a lot of beautiful and auspicious ingredients, people usually prepare Chirashizushi on Hinamatsuri.
Hina-arare. Fry the streamed glutinous rice or cutted mochi, wrapped with sweet honey, then the hina-arare wagashi is finished. It is usually offered as gifts to dolls before eating.
It is very happy to celebrate such a specific festival for girls. Too happy, Yuko dressed herself as a costume doll.
Then you must be thinking whether there is a festival for boys? There are also festivals for boys in Japan. In the manuscript in May, I will introduce to you the Kodomonohi.