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Gorgeous & Delicious! Japanese Girls’ Festival

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

↑ From the front "Chirashi zushi", right "Diamond-shaped Hina-Matsuri Cake", back left "Cake-style pressed sushi", white sake, center Celebrate with "kawaii" sushi and sweets! For those looking for opportunities to learn about Japanese cuisine and culture in Japan, hello from Japan Culinary Institute in Japan, and welcome to JCI's blog! In Japan, the Hina-Matsuri (Girls' Festival) is held every year on March 3rd to pray for girls' healthy growth and happiness. Hina dolls and peach blossoms are displayed throughout the country, and people celebrate by eating Hina-arare and Chirashi zushi. We will introduce the origin of the Japanese spring event, Hina-Matsuri, and exquisite menus to eat at the celebration. It is perfect for home parties, and if you aspire to become a Japanese chef, why not give it a try? Table of Contents 1. The origin of Hina-Matsuri and Hina Dolls 2. Gorgeous! Celebratory dishes for Hina-Matsuri 3. Hina-Matsuri sweets with a wish for color 4. Summary

1. The origin of Hina-Matsuri and Hina Dolls

↑ In the Edo period, elegant Hina decorations were displayed indoors (Ishikawa Toyomasa, "Furyu Kodomo Asobi, March" 1767) Hina-Matsuri (Girls’ Festival) is held on March 3rd, also known as the "Peach Festival." The word "hina" means "child," and hina dolls (photo below) are decorated with the hope that girls will be healthy and happy. The original form of hina dolls was " Nagashi-hina," Paper and straw hina dolls were made and floated down a river to carry away illnesses, injuries, and other misfortunes. This event began over 1,000 years ago.

↑ Hina dolls with costumes and hairstyles from the Heian period Peach blossoms are also customarily displayed during the Girls' Festival. In addition to the fact that peaches are the flower of the season, it is believed that peach flowers have the power to ward off evil. The pretty pink peach blossoms go well with the image of girls and add a touch of glamour.

During the Edo period (1603-1868), the Girls’ Festival was established on March 3rd as a day to wish for the growth and happiness of girls. The simple Nagashi-hina dolls, originally made of paper and other materials, gradually became more luxurious, and people began to enjoy displaying them in their homes. The top tier of the gorgeous five-tiered set has a couple (the Emperor, Odairi-sama) and the Empress, Ohina-sama). The second tier has three women (San-nin-kanjo) who care for the couple. The third tier has five men (Go-nin-bayashi) who are musicians. The fourth tier has two important members of the Imperial Court (Left and Right Ministers). The fifth tier is the "Zoshiki," cleaning and transportation workers. In general, including Tokyo, the Odairi-sama is displayed on the left and the Ohina-sama on the right. Still, they are sometimes displayed on the opposite sides in Kyoto and other places.

↑ Gorgeous five-tiered decoration. Nowadays, it is rare to see it in ordinary households due to the housing situation.

2. Gorgeous! Celebratory dishes for Hina-Matsuri