Monday, March 2, 2009

Hina Matsuri - Girl's Day

March 3 is Girl's Day - AKA: Hina Matsuri - and among other things, is the time a young girl's parents set up the traditional dolls display. "hina" means "girl" or "princess", and "matsuri" is "festival", so "girl's festival". The dolls are referred to as "hina ningyo" (hina dolls).

One of the snack candies sold at this time is "hina arare", from Denroku (a maker of red bean products). The little pouch packet contains sweet red beans (azuki), which are packed in the white and pink sugar-coated puffed rice candies that are more like puffed sugar-coated sugar, and treated like styrofoam peanuts. For this product, "arare" means "hail", since the puffed rice looks a little like hail. So, hina arare = Princess Hail.

Ginza Tanaka, a jewelry and precious metals shop with their main store in Ginza, Tokyo, was first established in 1892. They just released a pair of $10,000 pure gold hina ningyo. I'm going to buy two sets - one to display, and the other to stay in its original packaging as an investment...

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