Hina-matsuri [雛祭り(ひなまつり)]

Hina-matsuri[雛祭り(ひなまつり)] is an event for praying girl's healthy growth and happiness and dolls called "Hina-ningyō[雛人形(ひなにんぎょう)]" are decorated in the house if a family has a daughter.

That is held on March 3 which is one of five Sekku[節句(せっく)](the turning point of season), Momo no Sekku[桃の節句(もものせっく)](formally Jyōshi[上巳(じょうし)]). Momo is "peach" in Japanese. Peach blossoms bloom around March 3 on the lunar calendar. Therefore, it is called "Momo no Sekku".


Hina-matsuri is believed to derive from a purification ceremony introduced from China and dolls for playing house in the Heian Period(794-1185).

In the Heian Period, people transferred their harm and bad luck into human-shaped paper, and they floated it into a river or sea for expelling evil on Jyōshi.

At the same time, daughters of noble played house using dolls and miniature furniture and that was called "Hiina-asobi[雛遊び(ひいなあそび)]". These two integrated and Hina-matsuri came into existence.

On Hina-matsuri, there is a custom to eat some special food such as Hishi-mochi[菱餅(ひしもち)], Hina-arare[雛あられ], Chirashi-zushi[ちらし寿司(すし)], soup of Hamaguri[ハマグリ](a kind of clam), Shiro-zake[白酒(しろざけ)](white Sake).

Hishi-mochi is a rhombic Mochi[餅(もち)](rice cake). That mainly consists of red, a stack of pink, white and green Mochis. Hishi-mochi is also decorated with Hina-ningyō. Each color has its meaning: Pink = protection against evil or peach, White = cleanness or snow, Green = health and longevity or ground


Hina-arare is dried and sweetened small Mochi. They are mainly colored by four colors(pink, green, yellow, white) and it is said to express four seasons.


Chirashi-zushi is a kind of Sushi[寿司(すし)] and that is a vinegared rice topped with various colorful ingredients such as Renkon[蓮根(レンコン)](lotus root), green beans, shrimp. Each ingredient has auspicious meaning.


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