Tuesday 2 March 2021

Doll's Day Festival: Hina-matsuri Celebrated in Japan

Tomorrow is Doll's Day, or Hina-matsuri, which is celebrated in Japan on 3 March each year. On that day, mothers and daughters display a set of ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress. They usually set them out on red fabric on a set of small steps or tiers, with the Emperor and Empress at the top.

I took the photograph on this page of Hina-matsuri dolls at the V and A Museum of Childhood, in East London, back in 2018. The information with the display said the dolls are often passed down from one generation to the next. Celebrating this festival is supposed to bring good luck and fortune to the girls who take part. Part of it involves making offerings of food and drink to the dolls.

The Horniman Museum, in South East London, also had a display of Hina-matsuri dolls last time I was there. Sadly neither of these museums are open just at the moment, but hopefully people will be able to visit museums again soon. I'm really looking forward to that!

You can find out more about folklore relating to dolls in my book Pagan Portals - Poppets and Magical Dolls, which is published by Moon Books. 

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