Today is girls day, or Hinamatsuri, in Japan. Hinamatsuri means “doll festival” and is celebrated each year on March 3. When a girl is born into a family she is given an elaborate display consisting of 7 red carpeted elevated levels, each with a customary display of “hina-ningyo” (special Girl’s Day dolls). On the top level of the platform are dolls representing the emperor and empress. Dolls representing members of the court and musicians, as well as food and furniture items are displayed on each of the lower levels. This display is usually brought out in February and put back up immediately after the Girl’s Day Festival. In fact, the belief is, that if you leave the display up after March 3, the daughter will have a late marriage or none at all! These displays can be very elaborate and costs thousands of dollars. Grandmothers sometimes pass down their own display to daughters or granddaughters.
There are special foods to eat and even a special kind of sake to drink on Girl’s Day. Grocery stores and candy shops are filled will all sorts of candies, usually pink, green and white in honor of Girl’s Day. Here in Japan, even the Google Search page displays an image celebrating Girl’s Day! While Girl’s Day is not a national holiday, May 5th, which is Boy’s Festival (also called Children’s Day), IS a national Holiday.