Hinamatsuri ひな祭り is a traditional Japanese holiday celebrated annually on March 3rd. It is also known as Doll’s Festival, Girls’ Festival, and formerly Peach Festival. In Hawaiʻi, this day is called Girls' Day! This is a time when families wish for the health, longevity, and prosperity of their girls.

Girls’ Day is often illustrated using momo no hana 桃の花 (peach blossoms), which is also a sign of the arrival of spring. Peach blossoms are believed to ward off evil spirits.

Beginning in mid-February, families will display hinaningyō 雛人形 (ornamental dolls) in their homes to ward off evil spirits. The display features a red carpet and multitiered platforms called hinadan 雛壇. The dolls must be put away before March 4th because it’s believed to cause a delay in a girl’s future marriage.

On March 3rd, it is customary to eat green, white, and pink colored foods, including hishimochi 菱餅 (rhombus-shaped rice cake) and hinaarare 雛霰 (bite-sized sweet rice crackers).

Green: fresh grass (a symbol of new spring + new life)White: snow + purityPink: peach blossoms + good health

Chirashizushi 散らし寿司 (scattered sushi) is eaten throughout the year. However, during Girls’ Day it is topped with special ingredients for good fortune. Hamaguri no Osuimono ハマグリのお吸い物 (clam soup) is also eaten on Girls’ Day. This meal symbolizes a happy marriage because a set of clam shells has only one match.