Monday, March 11, 2013

Hinamatsuri (Girl's Day)

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We participated a little more in Hinamatsuri this year than usual.  I found a wooden doll display I was willing to purchase.  I actually think it is wooden food, a cake with the doll decorations - but it works for us.  

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I also bought sweet Arare.  This is essentially puffed rice cereal, and some of it is colored.  This is a traditional cracker eaten on Hinamatsuri. 

The history of this event goes all the way back to 794. In those days, the death rate of women giving birth was so high, people started to put dolls beside their pillow to take their place. This became the origin of “Hina nagashi”, which the “Hina Dolls” were sent down to river or the sea taking bad spirits with them. Nowadays, “Hina Dolls” are more like guardians for children covering all the troubles for them. By the way the dolls are set to imitate a wedding in the time of Heian era (794-).(Okinawa2Go!Project)

This is the day to wish girls’ well-being in Japan. As for Okinawa, there is local traditional event called “Hamaui” on March 3rd in the lunar calendar. Girls go to the beach and soak their hands and feet in the saltwater to purify themselves to drive away the ill luck and pray for their well-being. Both traditional events are fun for girls. (Okinawa2Go!Project)

You can read more about Hinamatsuri here and here.

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