Thursday 3 March 2011


When Sora was born, Mika's parents gave us a set of dolls for her. Not the sort she would pretend to have morning tea with, but a set of "Hina Ningyou" (雛人形) to pray for her health and happiness throughout life. At the end of every february we set up the dolls, with a small tray of sweets as an offering. Today, March 3rd is the actual celebration, and it is traditional to have "Chirashi Zushi" for our meal this evening. Originally, this celebration coincided with the peach blossom season, which in the old Japanese calendar was the 3rd day of the 3rd month (弥生 yayoi) but is actually the 3rd of April in the modern calendar. However, when the modern calendar was introduced on January 1st, 1871 (Meiji 6), Hina Matsuri (the doll festival) was observed on the same numerical date, but actually a month earlier. It is therefore considered bad luck for the dolls to remain on display after April 4th. Many families in this area put the dolls away tonight, but it is Mika's family tradition for them to be on display till March 8th, though the reason is a mystery!


  1. Lovely dolls! March 8th is International Women's Day, so that's a good fit!
    Buddha's birthday is April 8th, so maybe in the old calendar.....

  2. Hoping you and your family are not affected by the earthquakes. All the best.