Girls' Day Celebration
Hina Matsuri is the annual Girls' Day Festival celebrated on the third day of the third month by Japanese families. Girls display their collections of elaborate dolls portraying the Japanese royal court, arranged on up to 7 tiers. The Emperor and Empress sit at the top and are attended by guardians, musicians and servants. These treasured dolls are passed down from generation to generation and are beautifully detailed, with brocaded silk kimonos, fans, and musical instruments. The wealthier the family the more elaborate the display. It is said that the display must be taken down on March 3rd or the girls in the family will not find husbands. Hina Matsuri evolved from ancient Shinto purification ceremonies. Using origami dolls, girls could rid themselves of impurities by breathing upon the paper dolls, rubbing the dolls against their bodies, then casting away the dolls, and thus their sins, into a river. The celebration of this festival in Japan is traceable to the Edo period. (1603 - 1867).