2007年03月03日

Hinamatsuri

Happy Girls' Day!

We didn't get around to taking out the Hinamatsuri dolls until about ten days ago, and considering the fact that the dolls are only let out of their box once a year, I felt that they hadn't gotten the attention that is their due.
Plus there's the fact that I don't want those hours of carefully tying hats in place and decorating the seven-tier platform to have been for naught.

And so I've decided to post a picture here to allow my readers to admire them:

hinamatsuri.jpg

For those of you who are not sure about how to explain the dolls in English, they are, from the top:

The Prince and Princess
Three Ladies-in-Waiting
Five Musicians
Two Ministers
Three Manservants (flanked by the cherry tree on the left, and the mandarin orange tree on the right)
...and assorted furniture and goods for the Princess' dowry including a tea room, a palanquin, and an ox-drawn carriage.

These dolls have braved the high seas to accompany our family to the U.S. and back, and I don't think there has been a single year when we neglected to take tthem out and put them on display.

When we were living in the States, we held hinamatsuri parties so that all our friends could admire the dolls. Which is all the more reason why I feel guilty for not having any guests to ooh and aah over them anymore. Although there is less than half an hour to go of March 3rd, at least this blog will allow me to put them on display to a larger audience than my immediate family.

After almost 30 years though, the dolls are starting to look the worse for wear. Some of the delicate decorative touches are starting to flake off, the manservants' eqxuisite costumes have come unglued in places, one of the ministers is missing a tassel for his hat cord, and the red paint adorning one of the ladies-in-waiting's mouths is showing signs of chipping.

I'll probably have to spend some time on maintenance before putting the dolls away for the year, but I can't help wondering how long they're meant to last. Is 30 years too long? Is one supposed to get married, have a baby girl, and invest in a new doll set before the old one goes out of commission? I think I've reached the age where such thoughts get to be more than a little frightening.

There is a commonly held superstition that the dolls must be packed away promptly after the festival, or the girls in the house will have trouble getting married. My mother believes this, and if there is no time to put the dolls away tomorrow, we'll probably cover the dolls faces with tissue paper, and make them face the wall.

So this leads me to wonder: would it be bad luck to keep the picture posted here way after the festival is over? If the picture disappears in a day or two, you'll all know what my answer to that question was.
posted by EnglishMaster at 23:40| Comment(4) | TrackBack(0) | English | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする