The theme of the Box of the month of March will be Hinamatsuri
The Hina matsuri (雛 祭 り) or “doll festival” is a festival which takes place in Japan on March 3, and which is dedicated to little girls.
The days leading up to March 3, little Japanese girls exhibit precious dolls placed on small platforms on several levels. These special dolls, which are sometimes passed on from generation to generation, are stored in a box for the rest of the year. They represent characters from the Heian era imperial court (平安 時代?).
Hina Matsuri is a celebration dedicated to girls, in which their parents pray for the good health and happiness of their daughters.
This day corresponds to the moment when the peach flowers start to bloom.
This is why the celebration is also called Momo no Sekku (literally, the peach blossom festival).
How is Hina Matsuri celebrated?
Although it is not a national holiday, March 3 is a special day for girls. Families with no young daughters may not do anything special that day.
However, a tradition of this festival is still transmitted until now. In fact, the way people celebrate Hina Matsuri is different from region to region.
Hina Matsuri dolls
In the houses, dolls are displayed, wishing young girls good health and happiness.
Hina dolls are said to protect children and ward off bad karma like accidents and illness.
This tradition has its origins in an ancient Japanese belief that bad luck and impurity can be transferred to dolls, which would then be thrown into rivers.
This way of thinking was adapted to the festival to wish the health and growth of girls around the Edo period (1603 – 1868) when people began to celebrate it by installing Hina dolls on stands for a short time.
Hina dolls represent what the imperial family looked like in ancient times.
The dolls on the top tire of the platforms represent the emperor and the empress. The other dolls are three court ladies, five musicians and the Minister of the Right and the Left who once supported the government.
There are decorations such as gissha (oxcarts), small cupboards, Japanese paper lamps called “Bonbori” and branches of orange and peach trees displayed on the tire of the platforms.
The facial expressions and costumes of each doll are also different depending on their personality and position.
If people do not have enough space to install each doll, they usually display the top tire of the platforms, namely the dolls representing the emperor and the empress.
There are also small versions of these dolls that fit in the hand.
Hina Matsuri food
Hina Matsuri Food Special meals for Hina Matsuri are Amazake (sweet drink), Chirashizushi (a style of sushi) and Hina Arare (sweet colorful rice crackers).
Amazake is a traditional sweet and thick Japanese drink made from fermented sticky rice. Amazake literally means “sweet alcohol” but it contains less than 1% alcohol.
Children can therefore also drink it. Drinking Shirozake, which is a traditional sweet sake, was one of the customs for getting rid of bad things from your body.
But Shirozake is an alcoholic drink, so Amazake was made especially for children.
Hina Arare are cute and cute little rice crackers. Expect to find some in the March Box.
The colors of these rice crackers all have meaning:
White represents the snowy land of winter, pink and red represent life, while green represents green shoots in spring.
Hina Arare is a snack showing our expectations for the arrival of spring after the long cold winter. People also say that you will live healthy for the coming year if you eat every color of Hina Arare.
Chirashizushi is a type of sushi that has lotus roots, shrimp and a finely grated egg omelet on top of pickled rice. It is a popular dish during celebrations. The ingredients in Chirashizushi also have meaning. It is said that the lotus root gives someone the power to see what will happen in the future, shrimp is a symbol of longevity and so on.
Celebrate the Hina Matsuri!
There will certainly be Hina Arare and the Amazake in Mars Hina Matsuri’s Box!
What other surprises or products related to this festival will be in this superb Box?
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