The Japanese Doll Festival, also known as Hina-matsuri, is a traditional festival celebrated on March 3rd each year in Japan. It is a day to honor young girls and pray for their health, happiness, and prosperity. The festival has a long history dating back to the Heian period (794-1185) and has evolved over time.
One of the most distinctive features of the Japanese Doll Festival is the display of hina-dolls, which are intricate, lifelike dolls representing the emperor, empress, and other members of the royal court from the Heian period. The dolls are typically displayed on a multi-tiered platform covered in red cloth, with the emperor and empress at the top and the other court members arranged below them. The platform is often decorated with flowers, paper lanterns, and other traditional Japanese items.
Families with young daughters typically set up the hina-doll displays in their homes several weeks before the festival. The dolls are carefully arranged in a specific order and are often accompanied by other traditional decorations such as cherry blossoms, peach blossoms, and paper parasols. It is considered bad luck to leave the dolls on display after the festival has ended, so they are carefully put away until the following year.
In addition to the hina-doll display, the Japanese Doll Festival also features traditional food and drink. One of the most popular treats is a type of sweet rice cake called “hina-arare,” which is often served with green tea. Other traditional foods associated with the festival include “chirashi-zushi” (a type of sushi), clam soup, and a variety of sweets.
In many communities, the Japanese Doll Festival is celebrated with parades, live performances, and other cultural events. Children may participate in traditional games and activities, such as playing with paper dolls or making “origami“. It is also common for families to visit shrines and temples on this day to pray for the health and happiness of their daughters.
Overall, the Japanese Doll Festival is a unique and colorful celebration that is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and tradition. Its focus on family, good luck, and prosperity for young girls has made it a beloved holiday for generations of Japanese people.
Katsuura Big Hinamatsuri
Katsuura Big Hinamatsuri is an annual event held in Katsuura City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
In 2001, the Katsuura Big Hinamatsuri was held in Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture, after about 7,000 hina-dolls were given as foster children from Katsuura Town, Tokushima Prefecture, through the auspices of the National Katsuura Network.
Katsuura Big Hinamatsuri is one of the largest and most impressive Hinamatsuri festivals in Japan.
It is held from Feb/24th to Mar/3rd in 2023.
The festival is organized by the Big Hinamatsuri Executive Committee, which is made up of local residents, businesses, and organizations. The committee spends months preparing for the festival, creating new doll displays, and ensuring that the event runs smoothly.
During the Katsuura Big Hinamatsuri, approximately 4,000 hina-dolls will be displayed around the central shopping area, including the Tomisaki Shrine, and the town will be decorated in hinamatsuri colors.
There are also various cultural events and activities held throughout the city. These include traditional Japanese music and dance performances, tea ceremonies, and local food and craft markets.
And also, Saturday and Sunday only during this festival period, there will be the “Katsuura/Onjyuku Stamp Rally” on an open-top bus. This event is the first time!
February 24 (Friday) – March 3 (Friday), 2023
*End time differs for each venue.
- Main venue
Around Tomisaki Shrine
*In case of rain, the dolls will not be displayed, but will be displayed on panels.
10 minutes walk from “Katsuura Station” of JR Sotobo Line
Overall, Katsuura Big Hinamatsuri is a stunning and culturally rich event that celebrates the beauty and tradition of Japanese culture. It is a must-see for anyone interested in Japanese festivals and traditions, and it is a wonderful way to experience the warmth and hospitality of the local community in Katsuura.
Let’s enjoy “Hina-matsuri”!!