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Hina Matsuri

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March 3 is Japanese Girls' Day called hina-matsuri in Japanese. The celebration for Japanese girls is also known as Doll's Day, while Japanese Boys' Day is May 5. People display a set of hina dolls and props in the house, wishing girls' healthy growth and happiness.

Traditionally, parents or grandparents of a newborn girl buy a set of gorgeous hina dolls unless they have special dolls, which are inherited from generation to generation. Hina dolls are dressed in Japanese ancient costumes and are displayed on the shelves of a stand covered with a red carpet usually from the end of February to March 3.

In addition to the costumed dolls organized on platforms representing , food and drink play a role on Girls' Day, with rice wine and rice cakes taking center stage, along with flower blossoms and of course the dolls.

Hina-matsuri is also called momo-no-sekku, which means a festival of peach blossoms. Peach blossoms, shiro-zake (white fermented rice wine), and hishi-mochi (diamond shaped rice cakes) are placed on the stand with the hina dolls. Hishi-mochi are colored in pink (implies peach flowers), white (implies snow), and green (implies new growth).

Traditionally, girls in Japan invited their friends to a home party and had a good time. Many people still prepare a special meal for girls on this day. Common food for hina matsuri are chirashizushi, sugar-flavored sushi rice vinegar with raw fish on top and a variety of other ingredients; clam soup served in the shell; and sakura-mochi, a pink, sweet rice cake.

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