In Japan, one of the most popular holidays is Girls day (Hina Masturi). It is on March 3rd every year. (3 is a lucky number in Japan that applies in other situations too.) This year was the first year that we have been in Japan for this holiday since we moved to the US 22 years ago. So it makes it that much more special. The neighborhood that we will be living in after our house is renovated has an event every year surrounding this holiday. So it is a big deal to our neighbors too. Many of the shops and houses on our street display their doll sets in the window or in the front of their store and they have crafts and food stands set up along the street. We ate several thing including udon noodles, pork steam buns (nikuman), sweet bean buns (anman), and sweet potatoes. Also, we bought a couple things like a T-shirt with an old map of Nakatsu town and a bamboo handbag. The weather was wonderful, so everyone had a good time. They have the run the event over 3 weekends before March 3rd.
In the typical household that has a girl, they set up an imperial court with at least the emperor and empress. More elaborate sets include many many pieces. They are displayed on a 7 step stand that is covered in red cloth. Often there is a cherry blossom tree and an orange tree included.
Another decoration for girl’s day is a mobile with hand sewed ornaments. Originally they were displayed for the girl’s first birthday in order to bring blessing. They were typically burned after the celebration. Today they aren’t burned and are displayed every year.