Hinamatsuri – the Doll Festival

Hinamatsuri is the Doll Festival or Girls’ Festival held on March 3rd. Dolls dressed in beautiful Heian-era (794-1192) costumes are displayed for almost one month until March 3rd at each family with girl children to celebrate the growth of them and to express their parents’ hopes that they will become as graceful and beautiful as the Heian period nobility. Depending on the region, the dolls are displayed until April 3rd according to the old calendar. In some parts of the country they sitll use the old calendar for traditional events.

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The Emperor and Empress and three court ladies[/caption]

Noble Empress

There is a famous shrine related to hinamatsuri in Wakayama City. The shirine is called Awashima Jinja Shrine. In the precinct of the shrine, you find  many old hina dolls which were dedicated by people for forgiveness and absolution.  The festival called “Hina nagashi”  is held here on March 3rd (Girls’ Festival Day) every year  to honor those hina dolls. In the event the dolls are set out to sea in boats.

Dedicated dolls at Awashima Jinja Shrine

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