Today is Hinamatsuri (雛祭り) in Japan, sometimes referred to as Girls’ Day. It’s a very special holiday in Japan, dedicated to female children and their health and development. Preparations for the day usually begin in mid- to late-February when both families and businesses set up elaborate displays of hina ningyo (hina dolls). Elaborately crafted and dressed dolls are traditionally placed upon a hinadon, a red stepped display stand, with the emperor and empress at the top, and different courtiers, musicians, and their accessories displayed on the steps below. These displays (hinakazari) range from simple displays to elaborate multi-stepped affairs and are traditionally purchased by a girl’s grandparents. As soon as the festival ends these displays are quickly dismantled and put away as it is believed that leaving them out too long will damage a girl’s chance for a good marriage.
Special treats are enjoyed during this time, and pink, green and other pastel-colored crackers, candies, cakes, and even sushi can be found in stores and bakeries. These special treats are often eaten and enjoyed at Hinamatsuri parties.
A selection of pretty Hinamatsuri foods and treats.