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A young girl in a formal kimono holding  a large bag.
Cultural Holidays
  1. Calendars in Japan
  2. Fortune Calendar (Rokuyō)
  3. Events of the New Year's Period: Matsunouchi and Koshōgatsu
  4. Bean Throwing Day or Setsubun (February 3)
  5. Valentine’s Day (February 14)
  6. Doll Festival (March 3)
  7. White Day (March 14)
  8. Cherry Blossom Viewing Season or Hanami (late March to early April)
  9. Boys' Day, Children's Day, or Tango no Sekku (May 5)
  10. Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May)
  11. Father’s Day (third Sunday in June)
  12. Star Festival or Tanabata (July 7)
  13. Summer Greetings or Shochū Mimai (late July to early August)
  14. Summer Gift-Giving Season or Ochūgen
  15. Obon
  16. Seven-Five-Three or Shichigosan (November 15)
  17. Christmas Day (December 25)
  18. Winter Gift Giving Season or Oseibo
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A young girl sits on her knees in front of a seven leveled display of ornate dolls
Many hina doll displays are quite large.
Photo from
Doll Festival (March 3)
The Doll Festival on March 3rd, also called Momo no Sekku (‘peach festival’), is the day to pray for girls to grow up safe and healthy. Families with daughters cerebrate this day by displaying hina dolls dressed like medieval courtiers, drinking sweet white sake, and eating rainbow-colored hina crackers. The first doll festival for a new baby girl, the hatsu sekku, is an occasion for special celebration. The Doll Festival originates in jōshi no sekku, a seasonal ritual introduced from China. Traditionally, people would transfer the impurities accumulated in their bodies to a doll, and then release the doll, and their impurities, to float away down a river. The modern Doll Festival apparently started when this ceremony of purification was combined with the beautiful hina dolls that medieval court women played with. In some areas, people still conduct a nagashi bina ceremony, in which they transfer their impurities to dolls and send them down a river.
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