In Japan when you mix all of the special Japanese holidays with western holidays, it is one continual celebration of festivals and holidays all year round.  On the third day of March the Japanese celebrate the Girl’s Festival.  It’s a day that features  a display of traditional dolls in the Heian style and is designed to celebrate the health and prosperity of girls.   Hina arare crackers are displayed with the dolls.  A baby girl is given her Hinamatsuri doll set during her first Hinamatsuri festival. Every year the family adds to the set to celebrate the child’s birth.

Chances are you won’t have a special Hinamatsuri collection. You may not even have some of the components.  This should not stop you from celebrating girl’s day.  This is a celebration that appeals to girls in the pre-school to elementary years in particular.  Here are some ideas for your celebration:

* Find a table where you can put out a display of spring flowers. Twigs of plum or early cherry blossoms, containers of hyacinth or other spring flowers are nice.  Pink flowers are best.

* Use your prettiest linen and dishes, preferably depicting spring flowers or spring colours

* Display some of your favourite  Japanese/kokeshi or porcelain dolls

* Source out hina arare crackers online or find some pretty pink coloured cookies or macaroons

* Your child can try her hand at a drawing like the one featured in the video below

* Learn the first verse of the Hinamatsuri song

* Hold a tea party on the day and wear your spring finery to celebrate

Akari o tsukemashou bonbori ni

Ohana o agemashou momo no hana

Go-nin bayashi no fue taiko

Kyo wa tanoshii Hinamatsuri

Let’s light the lanterns
Let’s set peach flowers
Five court musicians are playing flutes and drums
Today is a joyful Dolls’ Festival

A girl sings the Hinamatsuri song in front of a Hinamatsuri display in her home:

History of Hinamatsuri

Web page about Hina Matsuri

Celebrating Girls’ Day – Items on Etsy

Hinamatsuri photos on Flickr

Hinamatsuri videos

Girls’ Day Bento Boxes

Mochi (pounded rice) wagashi for Hinamatsuri

A month of hina arare

Japanese Antique Dolls by Jill and David Gribbin

Hinamatsuri song download (instrumental)

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