Hina Matsuri

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Each year, Japanese girls eagerly await the third of March, called Hina Matsuri, or Doll's Festival. In Japanese, “hina” means “small doll.” Girls display their most precious dolls on a seven-tiered platform in their home. Families visit shrines and pray for the health and happiness of their girls.

Japan also celebrates a special day for boys, called Kodomono-hi. On May 5th, families that have boys fly spectacular kites shaped like carp and decorate their homes with figures of traditional warriors to inspire the boys to be strong and brave. The carp is known for its strength and determination. The boys dress up in a kimono and often take baths with iris leaves, which are believed to keep boys healthy and strong.

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