Monday, March 03, 2008

March 3...."Hina Matsuri"...A day to celebrate GIRLS!!!

Today, all over Japan, families with little girls are having a special celebration. The "Hina Matsuri", or doll festival is a time for families to pray for the good health and happiness of their daughters. The dolls represent traditional Japanese values, such as calmness and dignity and are meant to set an example for the young girls to follow.

A lot of money is spent on traditional dolls used only for this celebration. Some families will spend a buttload large amount of money on special doll displays. The displays are set out, sometimes as early as the middle of February, but have to be taken down on the first weekend after Hina Matsuri to insure the daughter gets married at the "right age". (Don't ask me what the "right age" one could really give me a concrete answer!)
Some of the displays are very simple...and some are very elaborate. If you are really interested, you can go to the Wikipedia explanation of the festival...they have more pictures and go into detail about the dolls.

My good friend, Masami, and her family set up their display for her daughter, Kanon. Here is what her display looks like:

A lot of the things in the display, other than the dolls, are more dolls, kimonos and the accessories to go with, and I'm sure there are some sweets hidden in there somewhere!!! Masami's daughter is her mother's only granddaughter so they went all out this year. Kanon is still young, only a year and a half, but these dolls will be displayed every year....when she marries, more than likely and following tradition, she will take the dolls to her new house and use them for her daughter.

Okay......I don't have daughters and actually, I don't really know what all is involved...this is just all I have been told. In May, during the Boys Day's when our stuff comes out of storage!!! Over the years, we have acquired many things and have even purchased a few things....I'll post about that when the time comes., when I picked up Koji from the daycare...he brought out something that his class made to celebrate the day. All the kids, using paper cups and a variety of paper and whatnot, made their own little Hina doll displays. He is very proud of it. So, we have it displayed on the TV.

Something tells me that Koji (and the rest of the boys!) don't really take this particular festival very seriously. (Ya think?!?!)

Issei asked why we had it on the TV because it looked a little scary!! Koji was not hurt by this observation.....he just smiled.

(Mom sits quietly at the kitchen table, shaking her head and wishing she had picked up some know....for the festival!!!)


ladycheetah said...

Ok, I am not sure of the "right age" but I have been told that it is before 26 because I quote "women are like Christmas cake, they are no good after the 25th". Thought that was a good tidbit to share!

dkuroiwa said...

Yes...since I didn't get married until I was 34, I was referred to as "Christmas cake" know..after Christmas...a little harder to get off the shelf. What a crock!!'s funny that I'm seeing a lot more "Christmas Cake" walking around town...!!

katydidnot said...

i think i've been no good since i was 15.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I only act like I'm good.

Minnesota Matron said...

Oh my. I could have used some ritualistic prayer as a child. No question.

Karen MEG said...

What a fascinating tradition! Wow, 26 a good age?! Christmas cake, that's a good one LOL!

I guess I didn't make it too far past... I was 27 almost 28. But in retrospect that seems young (But don't tell my husband because it seems that I couldn't get him to the altar fast enough... I thought 6 years of dating was long enough though, wouldn't you?)

Anonymous said...

I too have a doll collection. Some belonging to great Aunts, grandparents, Mom, friends and family have given me them. Have them from Holland, Finland, Indian tribe and a few of mine from my childhood. Could use one from Japan...hint hint. LIke you no daughters just enjoy my collection for me.

Cheri said...

Yay! A celebration for daughters. Maybe the right age is whatever age each girls happens to be when she is ready.

Grandy said...

I'm probably beyond the Christmas cake...and straight on to the fruitcake.