Wednesday, March 3, 2010

雛祭り Hina-matsuri

Today is Girls' Day also known as Hina-matsuri (Doll Festival) which is a parents day to celebrate their daughters' happiness, growth, and good health. This festival has its origin in the Heian period where ornamental dolls dressed in the fashion of the ancient court, including the Emperor and Empress, are placed on tiered shelves. Formerly, people believed the dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits. More currently, a friend informed me, it is believed that if a girl does not put away the dolls quickly after the Hina Festival then she will not get married for a long time. Many products are on the retail selves to help celebrate the festival including colored hina-arare (bite-sized crackers flavored with sugar or soy sauce), hishimochi (a diamond-shaped colored rice cake) and chirashizushi. These are bean cakes from DONQ boulangerie representing the Emperor and Empress filled with sweet read bean jam and sakura white bean jam.

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