ひな祭り - Hinamatsuri (The Doll's Festival)
Hinamatsuri is also called the Girls’ Festival. It is celebrated on March 3rd to wish girls good health and growth. Most families that have girls celebrate by displaying a set of beautifully dressed dolls that represent the members of the ancient imperial court of the Heian Period (794 to 1185). The dolls are displayed on tiers of shelves. The Emperor and the Empress, called dairi-bina, are displayed on the top shelf, three ladies in waiting (sannin-kanjo) are on the second shelf, and there are five court musicians (gonin-bayahi) on the third shelf. There are two eminent lords holding the offices of government ministers (udaijin and sadaijin) on the fourth shelf, and there are three servants below them. Sometimes, the lower shelves also display miniature articles such as furniture, food, and tableware. The families prepares special dishes and also make offerings to the dolls including lozenge rice cakes (hishi-mochi) and white sake that is made from sake and rice malt to ! celebrate the Doll’s Festival. The Doll’s Festival is also called momo-no-sekku, which means the Peach Festival, as it is celebrated in the season when the peach blossoms bloom beautifully.