Hina Matsuri or Doll’s Festival
is feted on the third day of the third month (3rd March) in great spirit and
enthusiasm. Also known as Girls Day, it is dedicated for praying for the growth
and happiness of young girls.
To some people Hina Matsuri is popular
as Momo No sekku or Peach Festival because of the peach blossom season on
the lunar calendar. Etymologically speaking, Hina is an ancient word meaning
doll and matsuri means festival. Momo means peach and sekku is another word
In Japan, the peach blossom symbolizes
happy marriage because of the way and the time the tree blooms. The end of
February and beginning of March, when people celebrates Hina Matsuri, is the
time when winter turns to spring and also the peach tree blooms, thereby helping
one to discard the monotony of humdrum life and accept all the colors and
vigor of dear life. Moreover, the blossoms represent the feminine traits of
gentility, composure and tranquility.
On the day of Hina Matsuri dolls are
displayed in the house together with peach blossoms. The common saying is
that the young girls of the family will grow up as elegant and blessed as
the gorgeous dolls that they display each and every year.
The dolls are not just playthings but
are traditional dolls, a heritage of the household, that is handed down from
one generation to the next. There is a unique way of arranging dolls for Hina
Matsuri celebration. Dolls that are replicas of an ancient emperor and empress
are placed on a five or seven-tiered stand covered with a red carpet. The
next step contains the subordinates, i.e. three court ladies (sannin-kanjo),
followed by five musicians (gonin-bayashi), two ministers (udaijin and sadaijin),
and three servants ending the bottom row in a five-tiered display. Other decorative
items viz. small pieces of furniture, small meal dishes etc enhances the mood
of festivity and merry making of the Hina Matsuri.
Special songs are sung, dishes are
served and people stoop into elation during the gala ceremony of Hina Matsuri.