March 3 is a very important date for all the little residents of Japan. The fact is that in the Land of the Rising Sun for centuries, the doctrine of yin and yang, which came from China, has been cultivated. It gave the tradition to celebrate the days of the change of seasons - sekku.
There are five such holidays in the year. Each of them is associated with special ceremonies. For example, in order to cleanse oneself of troubles (diseases, etc.), it was customary to place them on a man’s figure made of paper and send them down the river. From here comes the Hinamatsuri or Puppet Festival.
It is sometimes called the "Peach Blossom Festival". According to ancient beliefs, the flowers of the peach tree have the ability to drive away evil spirits, and therefore they are also actively used to create jewelry for girls.
As for the dolls, their name is hina-ningyo. It is almost impossible to see them on other days.
Dolls as a heirloom
The central custom of the holiday is always an exhibition of dolls. If there is a girl in the house, then during the holiday a composition appears in one of the rooms, the basis for which is a stand with several steps mishandled by the red carpet. On a bright piece of cloth and place all the hina-ningyo.
Most often, dolls denote the imperial family and the inhabitants of the imperial court. Of course, the imperial family is at the top step, and below are the courtiers (cooks, musicians, etc.). It all depends on the imagination of each individual family.
It is interesting that the dolls are exhibited at the end of February, but they are removed immediately after the end of the holiday. This is due to the belief that girls will quickly meet their husband and will be happy in marriage if they finish celebrating the Puppet Festival on time.
Sets of dolls are called hina-kazari. Once they were accessible only to wealthy families, but since the 18th century, they spread throughout the Land of the Rising Sun.
When a girl appears in the family, parents should immediately purchase one of these doll sets. But now dolls are increasingly inherited. They can even become part of a dowry for a daughter who is getting married.
Some of the sets are the most, that is, a real relic. But, even if their cost is very high, few people decide to sell dolls. The Japanese believe that rituals on the occasion of hinamatsuri directly affect the successful reproduction of the clan in the family.
It’s easiest to buy new doll sets in the city of Saitama. There is an area called Iwatsuki, where more than 50 stores with such dolls are concentrated. Tourists often buy them, because this is a very beautiful souvenir with an interesting history.
Hinamatsuri: traditions of celebration
March 3 is the central date, but the holiday begins a few days before it and ends a few days after. During this time, girls go to guests where they are treated to festive dishes. One of the most sought after delicacies is tirasizushi - a rice pillow on which seafood is laid (fish, shrimp, game, etc.)
In some regions (primarily in rural areas), the custom has been preserved to get rid of troubles by throwing paper dolls into the river.
Japanese society is traditionally considered patriarchal, and therefore hinamatsuri is an excellent reason to pay attention to the fair sex. During the holiday, a whole series of events (concerts, theater performances, etc.) takes place, in which the central role is assigned not only to girls, but to women in general.