Recently, I heard about the girls’ festival Hina Matsuri, and I asked a local Japanese lady, Miss Mako, to tell me the story. She said, “One of my favorite Japanese festivals is Hina Matsuri, when people pray for their daughters’ future happiness, health and growth. Girls celebrate this happy festival every year, until they are married.Sometimes known as the Doll Festival, the hina (dolls) used for this festival are called hina ningyo. These are a set of traditional wooden Japanese dolls, handed down from generation to generation, and taken out especially for this festival. The hina are dressed in great detail as members of the Japanese royal family and their court, such as the Chancellor, Ministers, royal guards with their weapons, musicians and girl servants, all displayed on a beautiful tiered stand covered in red cloth.Even today, girls dress-up on Hina Matsuri in their best kimonos. Some girls dress-up like the dolls, inviting their friends for a tea party, to enjoy sweet colorful rice crackers. After the festival, it’s important that the Hina are put away very quickly. If not, it’s thought that the daughter will be slow to marry”. Thank you for this lovely story Miss Mako, we appreciate it very much.