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Doll Festival: Hina Matsuri

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.

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