March 3rd is Girl’s Day in Japan. This holiday is exactly as it sounds, a holiday for girls. I think this is a great idea, as a girl. It is also called Doll’s day, and I showed a picture already of the dolls I saw at the dolls exhibit, which was in honor of the current holiday. March 3rd was on Sunday, but my apartment actually celebrated it on Saturday. It was really exciting. In the lobby they had origami and card making along with traditional Japanese children toys. There were older ladies and older men teaching and guiding the children in these areas. Mothers then mingled on the outside of the stations set up. It was fun to see all the kids coming together, and the interaction of the parents.
Outside there were tents set up. It was really windy so I think, had the weather been nicer, the tents would have been a little more festive. Even still there were lots of people outside. They had a place where you could pound mochi, a rice cake, with traditional hammers and barrel. I tried it. The hammer was extremely heavy! I was shocked at how difficult it was. The mochi too was really sticky and the hammer would stick to it. There was a lot more to it then I first thought.
On Sunday, for dinner, the girls put on little headpieces that they had made with a little paper gold crown and sakura blossom. They get to drink fizzy peach pop out of wine glasses and we ate pink rice. It was explained to me how the rice was pink, but I honestly didn’t really understand. It was all in honor of the holiday though. The girls had also set up their dolls that they had made the day before. The dolls were of the emperor and empress. Their handmade dolls were adorable. Kokoro explained to me that she had made hers when she was four. The dolls have to be taken down right away after the holiday. Early in the morning or even at night they are taken down because it is said that your daughter won’t be able to marry until she is older if you don’t take down the dolls right after the holiday ends. One can have them up before hand though as long as they want. My apartment had their tier of dolls set up almost a month ago. Maybe even more.
In addition to celebrating girls, this holiday seems to be welcoming the spring season. Lots of pinks, of course, are sold for the holiday. This makes sakura or cherry blossoms on everything. Here in Japan sakura and spring go hand in hand. Seeing all the sakura makes me really look forward to warmer weather and the blossoming surroundings. It is interesting though; growing up I was taught in elementary school that if March comes in like a lion, it will do out like a lamb. And if it comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion, referring to wind. Almost always March back home starts really windy and ends really nice (at least that is what I recall). I hope it is the same here. Because literally March came and it has become really really windy. I hope it means the weather will be really nice by the end of March!