The third day of the third month is acknowledged as Girls Day in Japan. The Hina Matsuri or Doll Festival, according to an article of the same name on the Internet, is a day when the family’s doll collection is on display and the good health, happiness and growth of the daughters is celebrated. The dolls must all be put away for another year promptly at the end of the day, or it is said the little girls will not marry for a very long time. The Doll Festival was originated in 794 – 1192 during the Heian Period, the article goes on to say.
There used to be a special Boy’s Day as well – the sixth day of the sixth month on which paper flags bearing the image of the carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, were flown. Tango no Sekku was known as Boys’ Day (also known as Feast of Banners). According to Wikipedia, in 1948, the government of Japan changed boy’s day to Children’s Day, Kodomo no Hi, now celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month so all children could enjoy it and to express gratitude to all mothers.
Girls Day always reminds me of my daughter and the assorted photos of her as a child in kimonos and while I collected dolls and enjoy looking at them, her favorites were stuffed animals.