Girl's Day in Japan

February 26, 2018

March 3rd is Girl’s day in Japan. It is called Hina-matsuri. It is a day to wish girls healthy growth. Only the family who has girls at home celebrate it. If you have sons, then you don’t do anything on that day, there is a day for boys as well, and it is on the May 5th.  On girls day, things are decorated to pink as it is also called momo no sekku, momo means peach and it starts to bloom in March, it makes us feel the spring is here.

On girl’s day, people celebrate this day by displaying dolls called Hina-ningyo in their homes. The dolls are believed to function as effigies, which take away the evil spirits. It is similar to Christmas trees, we display the dolls for few days or even a few weeks before the girl’s day, and we have to move them soon after the girl’s day is over. If the dolls are left for longer than this, it is believed that girls won’t marry in the future. 

Also, people eat some special foods on this day.

 

Hina-Arare 

A sugar puff / rice cracker and Hishi mochi - a rhombus shaped rice cake. They are coloured pink, green and white. These colours have meaning: 

White - means snow and shows purity.

Green - grass in the field which symbolises a long and healthy life.

Pink - flowers of momo (peach). The peach is highly regarded in Japan and is believed to ward away evil spirits.

When these colours combine, they symbolise the snow on the grass melting and the flowers blooming – the start of spring.

Other foods and drinks include:

 

Hamaguri soup ( clam soup )

Clam in the soup is a wish for a girl to have a happy marriage, as the clams have 2 shells and always fit together.

 

Shiro zake (White, milky sake)

The girl does not drink the sake as the drinking age in Japan is 20. However, it is displayed with a petal from the peach. The white sake shows purity and the peach ward off the evil spirits.

 

Chirashi-zushi

 'Scattered’ sushi and the ingredients that are used in this sushi have got meaning. 

Prawns - The curve of the prawn symbolises old age as good posture starts to deteriorate during the later years of life.

Lotus root - It is said that you should be able to see your future through the hole of the lotus root. 

Girl’s day is celebrated over 1000 years; it has got a long history. If you are interested of celebrating girl’s day, here is the recipe of charity-zushi! https://www.sushisushi.co.uk/blogs/recipes/celebrate-easter-and-spring-with-chirashizushi

 






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