It’s Hina Matsuri, or Doll Day in Japan.
But no, your old “Tickle Me Elmo” and Molly McIntire won’t cut it. These dolls are often handed down from generation to generation, and are displayed in a very ritualized manner once a year.
A full set of “Hina Ningyo” dolls can cost anywhere from $400 to $10,000, and consists of roughly 15 pieces—”figurines” may be a more accurate term. The main two dolls are the O-Dairi-sama and …Read more
Once a year in Japan, the land of order and politeness, it is considered perfectly acceptable behavior for children to hurl beans and peanuts at their classmates without reprimand.
That day is today, Setsubun, or Lunar New Year, and understandably, kids more than anyone carry …Read more
2nd Monday in January
Almost every society has a coming-of-age rite, be it confirmation, bar mitzvah, high school graduation, or my favorite: passing your driver’s test.
In Japan that rite is one’s 20th birthday. However, it’s not an individual celebration. The entire nation of 20 year olds celebrate their birthdays on the same day. That’s today, the second Monday of the New Year, Seijin no Hi…aka, Coming of Age Day.
20 is the legal age of voting, …Read more
…when the night and day are equally divided, Buddha appears on earth for a week to save stray souls and lead them to Nirvana.”
…Thus, in Japan, the spring equinox (shunbun no hi) and the fall equinox (shuubun no hi) are known as O-higan. Days on which families visit and honor the graves of the departed. Ancestors are said to watch over the family like tutelary, guardian deities. That’s why the Japanese give thanks to their …Read more