Katsuura Big Hina Matsuri – Dolls Festival
There are plenty exhibitions of traditional dolls throughout Japan, but Katsuura Hina Matsuri in Chiba is by far the biggest Hina dolls display in Japan.
The Doll’s Festival is celebrated on March 3 and its origin dates back to the Heian period (794-1185). It was thought that the dolls were able to absorb the misfortune of men. At that time, the lords were offering dolls representing little girls to the imperial family, especially the princesses, to free them from their misfortunes. It was a Shinto ritual purification.
Now democratized, all Japanese girls put on their best display dolls representing the Emperor, Empress and the court, and invite their friends to admire them, drinking tea and eating cakes. For the occasion, they wear a long-sleeved kimono and receive gifts from their parents and their friends. During the day, they go with their parents to the local shrine to pray the gods.