March 3 is Doll Festival Day! Stars1 review (Do you like this day? Rate it!)

Doll Festival Day The Doll's Festival (Hinamatsuri) is a Japanese tradition that takes place on March 3, the third day of the third month. Hinamatsuri is a time to pray for the health and well being of young girls. Most homes with young girls will set up a display of dolls. Around the display dedications of peach blossoms, cubed rice cakes, special colored and diamond shaped rice cakes, and white sake are made.

This Japanese holiday is dubbed "Girl's Day" but there's no reason why boys can't enjoy this day too! Start out reading the book 'Yoko's Show and Tell', or visit the link to Kids Web Japan to learn more about the Doll Festival, and lots of other cool stuff about Japan and Japanese culture. Make a rice cake and while it's baking, setup a doll (or stuffed animal) display, or try origami, the art of paper folding!

Books & Videos | Doll Display (Hina Dan) | Origami | Orange Rice Cake | Links |

Books & Videos

  Yoko's Show and Tell Yoko's Show and Tell by Rosemary Wells
When Yoko's grandparents send her a beautful antique doll all the way from Japan, Yoko the cat couldn't be happier. She places Miki on a windowsill and brings her candy every day. On Girls' Festival Day, Yoko wants to show Miki to her class and tell them all about the Japanese holiday. In her Big No voice Mama says, "We don't trouble trouble or trouble will trouble us." But Yoko is so excited about Girls' Day that she can't resist taking Miki to school. Mama will never know. What could possibly go wrong?

Doll Display (Hina Dan)

Leading up to the Japanese Doll Festival (or Girl's Day), platforms covered with a red carpet with rainbow stripes at the bottom are used to display a set of ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians. Make a tiered platform using bins, benches, or whatever you can find around the house. Cover the platform with red material (towel, sheet, blanket, etc.) and let your child display their favorite dolls or stuffed animals!
Doll Display (Hina Dan)
What You'll Need:
  • Bench, step stool, and/or small table
  • Red cloth (towel, sheet, blanket)
  • Favorite dolls or stuff animals

How To Make:

1. Place the cloth over the stool, table or bench.
2. Have your child place and arrange their favorite dolls and stuff animals on the display.
3. Bring the dolls candy or other treats!
4. Be sure to take down the dolls the next day. Superstition says that leaving the dolls past March 4 will result in a late marriage! (hmmm...maybe you want to keep them up?)

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Introduce your child to origami, the beautiful art of paper folding. This link goes to Nick Jr.'s Ni Hao, Kai-lan, with very basic origami, perfect for little hands!

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Orange Rice Cake

This isn't a traditional Japanese Rice Cake (Mochi), but it is probably something you'll have the ingredients for! If you want to try making traditional Japanese Rice Cakes, search 'Mochi' on a website such as (You'll need ingredients such as rice flour and potato starch).
What You'll Need:
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 quart milk
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 T grated orange zest or 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c golden raisins

How To Make:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a cupcake tin with paper or foil liners to make mini-cakes.
2. Rinse the rice under cold water. Drain, and cook rice in the milk over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the milk. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks on high speed until they are pale yellow and doubled in volume. Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture, blending well, and then add this to the rice. Add the orange zest and the raisins.
4. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peak stage. Gently fold the whites into the rice mixture.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 15-20 minutes or until the top of the cupcakes are golden brown and puffed up. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before turning out. Cool completely. Serve chilled.

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  Kids Web Japan

This is an awesome website that helps children learn about Japan! This link starts out on the Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) page, but be sure to explore the other links where you can listen to Japanese, learn how Japanese writing is formed, view a map of Japan, watch Japanese children, and much more!
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