Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Doll Festival

Though we are in coldest time of the year now, there’s a sign of spring in the air. Followed by the Japanese apricot blossoms, peach blossoms are to be in full bloom before long. Around that time, Hina-matsuri or Doll Festival is celebrated on March 3rd, hoping for the well-being of girls.

People begin to display Hina-dolls about half a month before that. It traces its origin to Nagashi-bina, literally means floating dolls, in a Heian Period (794-1192); In those days, combining children’s play with little dolls made of paper or clay  in the court  with the seasonal event of purification from Chinese origin, people used to float dolls down the river, believing it would take away evil spirits with them.

In Edo Period(1600-1867), the festival spread among ordinary people and they began to display the dolls of attendants, musicians, some others in traditional court dress of Heian Period, adding to the original emperor and empress on five or seven tiered stands, together with marital package. It became more elaborate and sophisticate.

These dolls came in to my house at the first festival of my daughter's in the year she was born. As my two daughters grew up, I neglected displaying the dolls. However, a few years ago, I took the trouble to take out dolls for the first time in years for some reason. I was relieved to find the dolls remained intact and undamaged despite a few moves before getting settled here. I felt sorry I had left them in the closet for a long time.

Well, time passed and there seems to be a growing tendency among young people, not always “young” actually, not to want to tie the knot as early as they used to. My elder daughter is of an age or well past the age, I'm afraid, where they should ‘ve been married and have started a family. She is a working woman and living alone in Tokyo.

Once she said she knew how I felt and how I was worried about her, but she asked me to leave her alone saying she knew what she was doing. I’d say she is well-organized, considerate, reliable woman and I am proud of her. I sincerely hope she will meet the right partner and get round to getting her family.

This year I displayed the dolls again praying that the happy aura of the emperor and the empress will rub off on her. As a mighty cupid, I hope they will help her find the right partner as soon as possible. I think I can hear, “Don’t worry, count on us”

                         wooden Hina Dolls by carving with a single knife

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...