March in Japan is traditionally considered a female month. March 3 is the celebration of girls, which is affectionately called Hina Matsuri ( Yap. ⁇ 武 り, Hina Matsuri — Hina Puppet Festival ) or Momo-no sec ( Momo-no Sekku — peach flowering festival ).
In ancient times, it was celebrated on 3 day 3 months simply as a seasonal event. At this time, the peasants were relatively free from agricultural work and could rejoice on the first warm days when peach trees began to bloom.
The celebration of Hina Matsuri is based on several different traditions. One of them dates back to the era of Hayan ( 794 — 1185 ) — on this day, casteries were invited to noble families who performed special prayers aimed at, so that all the troubles of people go over paper dolls, which were then allowed to sail along the river or by sea. These dolls were called « Nagashi-bina » — dolls down the river.
Initially, the holiday was celebrated only at court and among the military class, but soon it quickly spread among the people. The national holiday of dolls became in the 18th century, then the custom was added to arrange in houses where there are girls, exhibitions of richly dressed dolls depicting the life and customs of the imperial palace.
This custom is still preserved. Now these are not paper dolls, but real works of art made of ceramics and silk, dressed in luxurious clothes. Hina dolls are not intended for everyday games, they are usually exhibited in the central room of the house on the special floor — chinadan — and just a few days like them. Some of these doll sets are very expensive and passed down in the family from generation to generation. Usually, when a girl is born in a family, parents buy a new set of dolls, which is then supplemented by the dolls that relatives and friends give them.
There is a belief that you can’t put up dolls for a long time, as this puts off the desired hour of marriage, so all items are carefully packaged and stored until next year. By March 3, the room where the doll exhibition is located is decorated: balls of artificial cherry and tangerine wood are hung to the ceiling. Each ball is decorated with a hanging silk cord.
On this day, girls in elegant kimonos, like real ladies, go to visit each other, give and receive gifts, treat themselves to special sweets and admire dolls. So in a playful, laid-back form, girls are instilled with the rules of good tone, the concept of character traits that a woman should have, and the ability to take care of valuable things, restraining her desires and whims. Thus, in the traditions of Hina Matsuri, a wonderful game, a poetic perception of the world and traditional education are perfectly combined.
And the peach flowers ( momo ), which gave another name to the holiday, in Japan also symbolize female tenderness, kindness, softness and, as a result, a happy marriage. It is no coincidence that quite a few weddings are played on the Hina Matsuri holiday.