Hello, internet peoples! I have been very happy because it is approaching March which means that hopefully by the end of next month I might not have to wear 5 layers AT ALL TIMES. Ah the dream.
ALSO happening in March (the 3rd) is Hina Matsuri, maybe one of my favourite days in Japan. Hina Matsuri (or Girl's Day or Doll's Day) is a special day celebrating girls. As with all good days of celebration, there is special food, decorations, and whatnot.
Arare (tastes like Frosties, and is therefore delicious)
Firstly, dolls are arranged on a red platform (such as in the topmost photo above), in displays in the home, train stations, etc.. The dolls are often family heirlooms and ornamental (so sadly not to be played with!!). A small set usually consists of a prince and princess on the top tier, with maybe 2 handmaidens sitting underneath, but can range to a many tiered display with ministers, drums, and trees! I have had a look at some new sets of dolls in the department store and some - admittedly VERY beautiful - ones cost about £2000 (nearly died).
On Hina Matsuri, it is traditional to eat chirashizushi which is sushi rice served in a big flat-ish bowl topped with traditional sushi toppings such as raw fish. It is also traditional to eat mochi (pounded rice) in a trapeze shape. The mochi has three layers - green, pink, and white - to represent new growth, cherry blossoms, and snow. Arare, sweet coloured rice cakes that look like pebbles for the bottom of fish tanks and taste like sweet cereal (delicious!), are also eaten. One of the girls I teach really looks forward to Hina Matsuri for the sweets - a girl after my own heart.
You can also order special Hina Matsuri food from the supermarket:
And in Kada (near Wakayama), there is a shrine which is literally filled with dolls and animal ornaments for Hina Matsuri.
I quite miss celebrating Easter in the U.K. ( not only for the chocolate) (well maybe for the chocolate), so I really enjoy celebrating Hina Matsuri.
So, what do you think of Hina Matsuri? Pink enough??? :)
Erin Lian <3