Hina Matsuri is the annual Girls' Day Festival celebrated on March 3 by Japanese and Okinawan families in Hawai'i. Girls display their collections of elaborate dolls portraying the Japanese royal court, arranged on up to 7 tiers. The Emperor and Empress (or Lord and Lady) sit at the top and are attended by guardians, musicians and servants. These treasured dolls are passed down from generation to generation and are beautifully detailed, with brocaded silk kimonos, fans, and musical instruments. It is said that the display must be taken down on March 3rd or the girls in the family will not find husbands.
Hina Matsuri evolved from ancient Shinto purification ceremonies. Using origami dolls, girls could rid themselves of impurities by breathing upon the paper dolls, rubbing the dolls against their bodies, then casting away the dolls, and thus their sins, into a river.
You can make your very own origami Hina dolls on the Origami Page.
To learn more about the Girls' Day Festival, check out JADE Girls' Day Dolls Page and Girls' Day Dolls (Hina-Ningyo).
Writing a paper on Japan? Interested in Japanese holidays, food, and history? Visit Kids Web Japan.