Girls’ Day, Hinamatsuri: 雛祭り

ひな祭り(or 雛祭り) hina-matsuri is translated to Girls’ Day or Doll Festival.

Hinamatsuri is on March 3rd. In Okinawa, there is a special tradition on hinamatsuri of the lunar calendar, but that will be for a different post: 浜下りhamauri.

Traditional treats and not-so-traditional treats are being sold in stores. Community centers (and maybe some homes in Okinawa) have hina doll displays. Everyone prays for the good health of girls. These doll displays are rather costly and not actually traditional in Okinawa (just mainland Japan), so not very many people here have them. But any community center, library, or department store will have a nice display to check out.

Sakura mochi 桜餅 and hishimochi 菱餅 are 2 traditional wagashi for hinamatsuri. Sakura mochi is a pink mochi wrapped in a sakura (cherry blossom leaf). Hishimochi is a 3-layered ricecake, pink, white, and green, in a diamond shape. These days, you may see other wagashi designed especially for the day, as well as cakes and western-style desserts, with cute pink designs.

Another common snack you will see is hina-arare ひなあられ, (usually pink) rice crackers.

Hina-arare. With Hello Kitty theme of course.
Tohato caramel corn puff snacks with hinamatsuri doll theme. Left is momo (peach) flavor, right is regular flavor.

In Hawaii, Girls’ day is somewhat observed although on a much smaller scale than Japan.

Be sure to look for all these treats the next time you are in the store in Okinawa around late February and early March!