Hinamatsuri or Doll’s Day in Japan


Hinamatsuri or Doll’s Day in Japan

This day is known by several names but in fact it is the day of the dolls that is celebrated every March 3 in Japan. The purpose of this festival is to pray for the health and happiness of the girls. What it is that one knows that this date approaches because it begins to see in almost all sides, a couple of dolls as you can see in the following image.

What is done on this day is to create a shelf with several levels and different dolls and as the name says (matsuri), there would be a festival dedicated to this. The shelf is a representation of the Heian Imperial Court with its musicians, advisers, samurai, etc.

A typical doll of this holidayA typical doll of this holiday

The couple of dolls that should be on top of the shelfThe couple of dolls that should be on top of the shelf

What was also done was that dolls made of straw were placed in small paper boats and placed on the river to be taken away; this so that any bad luck of those who made them went away with the dolls. Also having the shelf is good luck but it is especially focused for girls and it should be kept for a month, starting in early February. But if it is left a day after the festival, this could cause bad luck and it is believed that it could affect future prospects.

All this arises from the story of Genji, who says that the third day of each month is the day of purification and they expelled any evil spirit to the doll to be taken away by the river or ocean. Since there is a belief that dolls can contain these spirits. (Have you heard of the popular Japanese game called ‘hitori kakurenbo’?)

Personally, it is a tradition that often helps the mind to reflect and try to remove all the bad energy or vibration that we can accumulate throughout our lives.

Questions: Have you celebrated this holiday? What do you think about the doll day in Japan? Is there a tradition in your country that looks like this one?

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