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Hina-Matsuri, the festival girls (Japan)

Girls holiday in Japan has several names: Momo-but sekku (feast of the flowering peach), Jesi-but sekku (the Celebration of the first day of the snake) and Hina-Matsuri (doll Festival). Previously it was celebrated on the third day of the third month as a seasonal event. In this day and perform the ritual of getting rid of illnesses and misfortune – Hina-okuri, which was made paper dolls nagashi-Bina (“dolls, lowered for the river”), which were thrown into the river, so they took away all unhappiness.

Dolls in Japan was considered not toys, and symbolic images of gods or people that bring good to people, repel the forces of evil, disease and natural disasters, preserve peace and tranquility in the home. Paper dolls were replaced by clay and wooden, and they are no longer thrown into the river, and kept at home, placing on the shelves.

Earlier the feast was celebrated only at court and among the military class, but it soon became widespread. In the eighteenth century, the girls Festival has gained national status. It then became the custom to arrange the exhibition a richly dressed dolls, which are placed on a special stand, consisting of three, five and seven steps, covered with bright red cloth. On the top step put the most expensive and beautiful dolls – giriama (“sir”), depicting the Emperor and Empress. The following shelves are Kula the rank is lower, in accordance with titles and grades. Stand-ladder decorated with lights, miniature trees, elegant toy furniture and utensils. The main doll needs to be paired, that is, to depict a man and a woman. The doll-man is set to the right of the doll-woman.

Before the show put traditional dishes of kusamochi: rice cake, is made with wormwood Emory, rice cake in the shape of a rhombus, hisamoto – together with made from rice malt and sake of shirozake. The festival coincides with the blooming peach tree, so its branches adorn the exhibition for the dolls. Flowers of peach in Japanese culture symbolize the most pleasant features that characterize the girl – tenderness, gentleness, grace, and femininity.

When the family had a girl, then the best gift of the newborn was considered to be dolls that are made manually from expensive materials. This set of dolls and accessories for the exhibition is an essential part of the dowry of the bride and one of the most valuable family relics.

Luxury exhibition of dolls getting ready for March 3, and lasts about a month. Set of dolls for a long time can not – according to legend, it can delay the marriage. After the end of the holiday all the dolls and accessories are Packed and hide until next year. For the holiday decorate the entire room where arranged an exhibition of dolls. To do this, the balls are hung from the ceiling of artificial flowers cherry blossom and Mandarin wood, decorated with hanging silk cords. Accessories for decoration can be bought at special fairs Hina-ichi (“puppet bazaars”), which are held in February.

In doll Festival girls dressed in kimono, like a real adult ladies, go to each other’s houses, give and receive gifts, enjoying traditional sweets and admire the dolls.