Hinamatsuri, also known as Girls’ Day, is not only celebrated in Japan, but also in Hawaii. However, most people have never heard of it. Have you?
So, what does this special day entail?
In Japan, there are prayers for health, happiness, and many other wonderful wishes for girls’ success.
Traditionally, special dolls are also displayed in the home (see here), but don’t leave them up past March 3rd! Supposedly, it is bad luck.
Traditional foods, such as hishi mochi (a tri-colored rice cake) and/or sakura mochi (cherry blossom rice cake) are enjoyed on Girls’ Day too (see more here), while some girls may receive a gifts.
Celebrating in Hawaii
In Hawaii, Japanese immigrants brought Girls’ Day to the islands where it continues to be celebrated today.
Nowadays, girls may receive a small gift of mochi, cookies, or gifts like a Hello Kitty doll dressed in kimono. Some families might also go out to celebrate.
My favorite place for fresh mochi is Two Ladies Kitchen in Hilo, Hawaii (see below).
An activity may include making a Japanese paper doll in kimono.
Girls’ Day in Mainland America
Growing up in Hawaii, I never realized Girls’ Day wasn’t a thing until I came to the mainland. I had a friend whose birthday was March 3rd and when I commented “your birthday is on Girls’ Day!” she looked at me with a blank stare and asked “what is that?”
After asking others, I realized, it was more of a cultural tradition celebrated in Hawaii and not something widespread. I guess it makes sense now, but living in Hawaii, you sometimes forget.
If you have a girl, celebrating Girls’ Day can be a special time. You don’t have to get fancy about it either. It’s really just a day to celebrate girls and their health & success.
With all the suffering some girls experience in the world, I think it is a beautiful tradition.
Simple Ways to Celebrate
I tried making some Hishi Mochi today, but I accidentally made a mistake I couldn’t reverse. Instead, why not try the Sakura Mochi recipe here from Just One Cookbook.
I felt like Domokun when I messed up. I’ll try again!
Have you heard of Girl’s Day or have you celebrated it before? What do you think about this tradition?