By Guest Blogger Chiaki Fujita
We had some amount of snow here in Yokohama on the extra day of February. Snow melted away soon and now we welcome March, the month that tells us the arrival of Spring in Japan. It is still cold, but we see the Spring is not so far away.
If I express ‘March’ in a color, I would definitely put it as ‘pink’. Not so bright strong pink but a soft innocent one that we Japanese call ‘peach’ color (momo-iro). Just like the pretty rose quartz bracelet I always wear.
Why do I imagine the ‘momo-iro’ pink for March? I think that it comes from ‘the Girls’ Day’ or ‘the Dolls Festival (Hina-Matsuri)’ on March 3 which is called ‘momo-no-sekku’ . ‘Sekku’ just means ‘seasonal festival’. As for the historical and detailed explanation on the Dolls’ Festival, you can go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinamatsuri.
I have a daughter, already a big girl and we bought a pair of Hina-matsuri dolls in the year of her first birthday to celebrate the Dolls’ Festival.
I don’t even know how many years have passed since we stopped displaying Hina dolls for the festival. I myself didn’t see the dolls displayed at my house any more when I became a junior high or high school student, although I remember there were the gorgeous seven tiered dolls displayed in my house every year before that. My mother and grandmother used to tell me and my brother not to touch them, or even not to frolic around in the room where they were, because those dolls were so important and fragile. I knew the dolls festival was a kind of a special day, looking at how my mother and grandmother displayed and put away all those dolls so carefully.
We display Hina dolls a few weeks before the festival and we put them back soon after the festival is over. I have heard of the legend that it would be hard for girls to marry at the right time, if we don’t put the dolls away after the festival..
In my home recently, we bought some sweets for the festival and usually have some special sushi with a variety of ingredients sprinkled on top on March 3, although we don’t display the dolls anymore.
I have not felt lonely or anything, but I know maybe unconsciously I try not to think about our dolls sleeping in the box.
I am wishing in my heart all girls and women a happy ‘Girls’ Day’ on March 3
Chiaki Fujita in her Google + Profile:
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Lived in Yokohama/Tokyo/Kanazawa, Japan, and New York, USA