ひな祭り hina matsuri—Girls’ Day

Third of March (3/3) is Girls’ Day, or hina matsuri—the “doll festival”.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Girls’ Day traditions:

The Japanese Doll Festival (雛祭り Hina-matsuri?), or Girls’ Day, is held on March 3.[1] Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls (雛人形 hina-ningyō?) representing the EmperorEmpress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period.

The article goes on to describe the various dolls, how they are placed on the platforms, and so on.

Our local Hankyu department store was selling special food for Girls’ Day. The traditional food is chirashizushi (sushi rice with fish and vegetables). The display includes a male and female doll standing on a red carpet.

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Pink is featured, not only because it is Girls’ Day, but also because it’s spring and everything is cherry-blossom themed at this time of year. Here is my “Girls’ Day” lunch (with pink slices of lotus root):

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There were lots of Girls’ Day cakes on display too. The two cute figures sitting on top of the cake may represent the imperial couple, o-dairi-sama and o-hime-sama.

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Creative as ever, the bakery got into the act with pairs of hina-matsuri buns. They look a bit like wombles.

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We chose this cake:

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Morozoff is the name of the cake shop. According to the information on the bag, “Morozoff started out in 1931 as a chocolate shop on Tor Road in Kobe, Japan”. Maybe a White Russian who ended up in Japan?

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Removing the edible decoration from the top of the cake before slicing it, I realised that we now have a little collection of cake decorations. There’s Santa with his magic wand (?), there’s a white chocolate birthday cake greeting and now they’ve been joined by the hina-matsuri couple.

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Note on the word of the day:

Originally, there was Boys’ Day (5/5) and Girls’ Day (3/3). But in a classic example of gender injustice, Boys’ Day was a school holiday (and public holiday) and Girls’ Day was not.

To put this right, Boys’ Day was renamed as “Children’s Day” and Girls’ Day as “Doll Festival”. However, the traditions remained unchanged, so Children’s Day is really still mostly Boys’ Day.

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