Celebrating Girls Day

I have been celebrating Girls’ Day since birth because of my mother. Celebrating this day is common in Hawaii (my hometown). She never misses a year of giving a Japanese-type gift like the cute little geisha, cartoon looking dolls or Japanese snacks. I remember one year when she made a card for me and my sister. Thank you for always thinking of us on this day mommy! 

What is Girls’ Day?

Also known as Hinamatsuri or 雛祭り, this holiday originated in Japan. It takes place every March 3rd and was originally symbolic of preparing a young girl for a peaceful, prosperous marriage. Families would traditionally start displaying dolls in February, then take them down immediately after the Girls’ Day Festival. They would do this with the superstition that leaving dolls past March 4th would result in a late marriage for the daughter. Farther back in history around 794 to 1185, people believed the dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits. On Girls Day, the Ancient Japanese families would set their dolls on a boat and send them down a river to the sea. In doing so, the dolls supposedly took troubles and bad spirits with them.

The holiday customs have changed over time. Fisherman started catching dolls in their nets, so they would float them out during the festival and have someone collect them and burn them in the temple after the festival. Also, I know that Girls Day in Hawaii is no longer following the tradition of preparing a girl for marriage. While dolls are still displayed sometimes, the day is focused on making it a celebratory day for females of all ages.

Why is it celebrated in Hawaii?

Early Japanese immigrants first brought the holiday to the islands. Oahu–the island I’m from–is heavily populated with people of Japanese descent. For this reason and historical reasons, it is still celebrated in Hawaii.

ASIDE: My parents grew up in Hawaii throughout their middle school years to their adult lives, so naturally we keep our island roots by celebrating holidays like today even though we are in the “mainland”. (Mainland refers to any west coast state including California.)

FUN FACTS ABOUT GIRLS’ DAY:

  • This holiday represents peace, composure and beauty.
  • When displaying dolls, local families would display collections of beautiful dolls that represent the Japanese court (Emperor, Empress, and court).
  • Some dolls sets are small, but there is a set of a thousand dolls in Japan.
  • Girls Day Colors: “Red and pink represents peach blossoms and other flowers, white signifies snow or purity, and green symbolizes growth or fertility.” (Source)
  • Girl’s Day is often celebrated by eating diamond shaped mochi (sweetened pounded rice cakes), parades, wearing and displaying of traditional Japanese attire (kimonos) and dancing.
  • Common Traditional Gifts for Girls: peach blossoms and paper dolls
  • Girls Day was a religious holiday for Shinto purification during spring

Today is about dressing up, eating food, and connecting with family. It is about reminding girls they are loved and cherished. Tell someone how much you appreciate having them in your life, share the posts for the next couple of hours, take a girlfriend out for coffee, and get your celebrating on with us today!

Happy Girls Day!

(photo above) After work and going to school and finally finding time to be together, my mom, sister, and niece celebrated together by opening our gifts, eating mochi, drinking green tea, and making origami swans and ballons. Jenelle enjoyed throwing the candies around while we did all these things. Another update, I made a video of what I would tell my younger self! Check it out!

lots of virtual hugs 💙
"Rachel

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