Girls' Day!! / by Kamie Chang Kahlo

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The Girls’ Day festival or Hina Matsuri was legally established in 1687. On the third day of the third month a day of purification in the Shinto religion comes from ancient times. In the purification rites, The use of dolls is mentioned in the Tale of Genji, written almost a thousand years ago!

Thomas Hull writes: …the Dolls' Festival (a.k.a. Girls' Festival). This happening originated as a purification ceremony using many folded dolls. "This ritual was performed by breathing on the dolls, rubbing them against one's body to rid oneself of impurities, then throwing the infected dolls into a river to be carried away" (Kenneway, Complete Origami, New York : St. Martin's Press, 1987, p. 82)....

Today, girls and their mothers take out the hina and arrange them on a red cloth which may cover a structure, the hina-dan, with as many as 7 steps, each with its own designated set of hina: the Emperor and Empress at the top, three ladies serving them sake on the next step, then five or even ten musicians, two "guardians" with weapons, and three servants. Girls play hostess to their friends who are "fed" in tiny dish sets.

Lil Star and I celebrate Girls’ Day by honoring all girls, mothers, daughters, their dolls and, yes, their candy! Lil Star took these photos to share our small but, sweet ritual.

Sources: Fascinating Folds - The History of Origami, Judy Shoaf
Contributors: Lil Star photographer and stylist