Sunday, September 16, 2007

Celebrating Hina-Matsuri

Clad in multi-colored kimonos, several cute little girls eagerly entered the office of the Embassy of Japan last Friday, holding on to the hands of their mothers to join the celebration of the Hina-Matsuri, a Japanese tradition for Japanese daughters.

Near the door of the Embassy stood a stall filled with a display of Hina Ningyo. In the stall are the Hina or Empress and dairi or Emperor that sit on the top shelf, followed by sannin-kanjo or the three ladies of court. The display also includes the gonin-bayashi or five court musicians, zuishin or escorts and eji, the guards. Also in display are diamond-shaped rice cakes, peach blossoms, sweets and white sake as offerings. The dolls dressed in gorgeous kimonos are displayed on stepped shelves to express families’ wishes and prayers for their daughters’ good health, happiness, success, and most importantly, a good marriage.

Japan Embassy assistant Press Relations officer Bernie Ngiralmau said that in Japan, children are celebrated and honored on special days of the year with a display of dolls and Hina-Matsuri is for the girls which is celebrated on March 3. The things on the display symbolize the things that the woman will bring with her when she gets married. Ngiralmau also said that as a tradition, the displays must be put away on the evening of March 4 otherwise the families will have trouble marrying off their daughters.

Ngiralmau however said that in the interest of cultural sharing, the Hina Ningyo will remain on display at the Embassy of Japan. Please feel free to visit the Embassy of Japan office for a glimpse of this display all thought out this month.

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