Wow, it’s already March! Time really is flying by. It feels weird to already say that we’re into the third month of 2017, but it’s exciting too because lots of festivals are coming up.
The big March festival that I’ve been looking forward to is Hina Matsuri, or Girl’s day!
This year I decided to re-visit one of the Hina matsuri hotspots, Yame. We were invited by a group of students from two local schools, who took us on a guided tour using English! I was so impressed by their courage to use English on the spot, and they looked ever so pretty in their kimono!
Yame is famous for it’s delicious green tea, and also around this time of year for it’s displays of Hina dolls. If you stroll around the streets of Yame, many shops and houses will hang pink lanterns outside signalling that they will have their family’s Hina doll collection on display.
We visited a shrine where a very special wedding took place, and we were invited to take part in the “flower shower” – where the bride was walked down the shrine pathway on a cart and we threw beautiful petals around her while calling out ”おめでとう！” (congratulations!).
Later, we visited a small community area where we were invited to write a wish for the year. We folded these wishes and placed them into a beautiful little origami kimono on a small dish,which was then placed into a little stream. We were encouraged to gently guide the wish down the stream with a stick while making a prayer that it’d come true.
After, our wish was then given back to us in this beautiful keepsake card!
I wished to pass the N4 this year. Let’s hope that comes true!
I also decided to try these traditional Hina Matsuri sweets – different flavoured mochi and jellies! They are ever so pretty. The pink-flower mochi by far was my favourite, with a delicate flavour and really nice texture. The pink mochi with the sakura leaf wrapped around has a particularly pungent aroma and taste – it isn’t unpleasant but it is definitely an acquired taste.
I’m wishing lots of good fortune to all the girls this year, particularly my students! I hope 2017 brings lots of joy for all.