Thursday, 3 March 2011
Today, 3rd of March is the Japanese DOLL FASTIVAL.
The festival for the girls.
Platforms covered with a red carpets are used to display a set of ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period (from 794 to 1185)
Formerly, people believed the dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits. Chirashizushi is often eaten.
The customary drink for the festival is shirozake, a sake made from fermented rice. A colored hinaarare, bite-sized crackers flavored with sugar or soy sauce depending on the region, and hishimochi, a diamond-shaped colored rice cake, are served.
Families generally start to display the dolls in February and take them down immediately after the festival. Superstition says that leaving the dolls past March 4 will result in a late marriage for the daughter.
The top tier holds two dolls, known as imperial dolls. These are the Emperor holding a ritual baton and Empress holding a fan.
The second tier holds three court ladies.
The third tier holds five male musicians.
Each holds a musical instrument except the singer, who holds a fan.
Two ministers may be displayed on the fourth tier: the Minister of the Rightand the Minister of the Left.
The fifth tier, between the plants, holds three helpers or samurai as the protectors of the Emperor and Empress.