Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hina Matsuri (Girl's Day)

Today was hina matsuri, or girl's day, in Japan. It is also known as momo-no-sekku, which means peach festival, because this is when Japanese peaches begin to bloom. Girls all over Japan set out their hina ningyo (dolls) several days or weeks before the actual day. The most important dolls are the Emperor and Empress. Every little girl is supposed to have a set of them. There are ministers and servants, soldiers and attendants, and even house wares that are also part of the display. These are not always there; I only have an emperor and empress mayself. They are often passed down from mother to daughter; some of these dolls are two hundred years old! Many snacks are served, and prayers are said for the girl's growth and happiness. Usually one eats oyster soup, sweet sake, and scattered sushi for girl's day: we had udon noodles with veggies, chicken, and seafood instead. Yum!

Hina matsuri dolls. I made them myself. The hardest part was the the outer kimono; my bunnies were a bit chubby around the middle, so they aren't quite right. It's very hard to get the right silks here in the US, so I used brocades instead.

A pink flower tsumami kanzashi I made for my mother. I can't decide if it is a peach (momo) blossom or a cherry (sakura). Maybe it's neither!

This is a doll yukata I sewed for Maggie's doll. It's made out of scraps from her yukata, so they match. I had to put in a few weird seams though... it's almost like patchwork!

Dango. Traditionally sakura cakes and tricolored mochi are eaten, but I had no pickled sakura leaves and Maggie doesn't like mochi without beanpaste. So I just made tricolored dango instead. Maggie helped make them. She's getting to be a pretty good cook for an eight year old!


  1. Nice to hear about Girl's Day in Japan. Thanks for sharing your culture :)

    1. Heh. I'm an American, so I guess you could say every culture should be my own. Because my country was founded by many different people, I try to embrace all cultures I come into contact with. I do a lot of things related to Japanese culture because a lot of my friends are Japanese. I live in an area where there are many first and second generation Japanese.