Hina Matsuri is the traditional Doll Festival or
Girl's Day, held on March 3rd during peach blossom time. It
is celebrated all across Japan in any household having a
young girl. An area is set aside in the main room of the
house for the doll display and a structure of five to seven steps
is built and covered with red cloth. Dolls are displayed on
the steps in a specific arrangement meant to depict the
Imperial Court during the Heian period (794-1192),
with the Emperor and Emperess at the top dressed in
ceremonial attire. On the lowerlevels are arrayed
Ministers, musicians, ladies-in-waiting, servants, and
other members of the court. The young girl herself is
responsible for setting up the display, cooking food for
the dolls and visitors, and entertaining guests.
The "blue-eyed" dolls arrived just in time for this festival in 1927, and in some
cases, were incorporated into the traditional display in the schools.