Hinamatsuri is a special holiday in Japan with unique foods and decorations. But what is Hinamatsuri, and how do people in Japan celebrate it?
Hinamatsuri: A Special Day With Special Foods
On March 3rd, Japanese families with girls display Hina dolls (hina-ningyo or ひな人形). It is generally believed that the dolls take away the bad luck of girls, and, by doing that, they pray for the health and happiness of young girls. This event is called Hinamatsuri (ひな祭り).
This is one kind of Sushi bowl with various ingredients such as shrimp, salmon roe, Shiitake mushroom and egg. Actually, you can put anything you want in it, but as for Chirashizushi for Girl’s festival, you need to include shrimp as it symbolizes a long life until your waist is bent like shrimp, lotus root as meaning of good foresight for your future and beans as meaning of being able to work healthier and harder. You can easily get this Chirashizushi from supermarket but, I recommend for you to cook it yourself if possible since this is a main dish for 3rd of March! I’ll leave you easy recipe below!
<How to Make Chirashizushi in Easy Way> for 2-3persons
Carrot(1/2)/Shiitake mushroom(2)/Ham(2)/Shrimp(4)/lotus root(1/3)/French beans(1)/egg(1)/Japanese rice(2go=around 660g)/mixture of Japanese vinegar(3＋1/2tablespoon of Japanese vinegar, 2＋1/2tablespoon of sugar, 1/2tablespoon of salt)
(1) Boil Japanese rice with less water and with seaweed
(2) Cut carrot and Shiitake mushroom into small pieces and boil them until it’s soft
(3) Cut lotus root into quarter slice and boil the until it’s soft
(4) Put the about 3 ingredients into a mixture of Japanese vinegar
(5) Take all rice from rice cooker to bowl and mix mixture of Japanese vinegar with 3ingredients and cover with wet dish cloth until it’s in warm temperature
(6) Boil Shrimp with salted water and peel the skin and cut ham
(7) Boil French beans and cut diagonally and thinly
(8) Make thin omelette and cut into thin stripe(3-4cm)
(9) Serve rice in plates and spread cut omelette
(10) Put all ingredients you prepared on the rice and make it look beautiful!
2. Hamaguri no Osuimonoはまぐりのお吸い物 (Clear Soup With Clam)
This soup is one of the typical foods for Girl’s festival. Actually, shell of clam doesn’t match the other shell of clam unless it is the pair of it, which describes ‘closed married couple’. Therefore, it is wished that you will stay with your one and only for your entire life! In addition, the recipe is in easy level, so you need only short time such as 10mins to cook this soup!
<How to Make Hamaguri No Osuimono>2-3persons
Clam(200-250g)/ water(500ml)/ sea weed(1four quarter in 5cm=5g)/Japanese Sake(1table spoon)/ salt(a pinch)
(1) Wash clams very well (remove sand inside the shell with putting into salt water and leaving for 1-2 hours)
(2) Put clam, water and seaweed into the pot and cook over on a low flame
(3) Take out seaweed and harshness after boiling
(4) Stop the heat after most of the shells open
(5) Put salt into pot
3. Hishimochi菱餅 (Rhombus-Shaped Rice Cake)
This is a rice cake piled with 3 color rice cakes, which color is pink, white and green. Green color means health, long life and ground, and the green rice cake is made from Japanese mugwort (Yomogiよもぎ), which encourages to increase of your blood. Then, color of white means cleanness and snow, and made by water caltrop, which helps bringing down the blood pressure. Lastly, pink color means talisman and peach blossom, and made from gardenia, which is effective to detoxification. In addition, the meaning of the combination of these 3 colors rice cake is come from various views, however normally it is said that ‘in early spring new green glass come into bud under the snow, and peach blossom opens on the snow.’ Moreover, the shape of rhombus is supposed to be heart, so it shows strong wishing of healthy life to daughters from mothers! By the way, you can easily find this at supermarket around 3rd of March! But, I recommend you to eat with boiling them or grill them and with some seasoning such as soy sauce!
4. Hinaarareひなあられ (Bite-Sized Sweet Rice Crackers)
Actually, it is thought that these rice crackers were made to take it outside instead of Hishimochi菱餅, since Hishimochi is sticky and difficult carry with you. That is why it has 3 colors as same as Hishimochi, which is green, white and pink! Plus, it sometimes has yellow one as well. If it is made by 3 colors, it is said green as the energy of trees, white as the power of earth and pink as the energy of lives, so it means you will live healthy after taking lots of natural energy! On the other hands, if it is 4 colored Hinaarareひなあられ, it means 4 season, which is Spring in green color, Summer in pink color, Autumn in yellow color and Winter in white color. Then, it means you will live happily through the year. Besides, it is easy to find these rice crackers in Supermarket, however it is not difficult to cook by yourself! Easiest way of cooking is just cut sliced rice-cake into small pieces and baked in the oven with 150℃ for 20mins! After that, you just need to put sugar or color powder!
5. Shirozake白酒 (White Sake)
This white sake is the one sweet Japanese sake (Mirinみりん) or Shochu焼酎 and steamed rice or yeast mix together, and make it ferment for 1 month. It sounds easy but it is difficult to make it at your home, so just go and buy it! For a long time before white sake was introduced in Japan, ‘peach blossom sake (Tokashu桃花酒) was drunk instead, it is said Peach exorcises negative vibes and will bring vitality and physical strength! However, it has 10％ alcohol in it, so please don’t let your children drink it! But you can offer them ‘sweet sake (Amazake甘酒)’, which alcohol includes less than 1％ and looks exactly like white sake!
In addition, mothers may invite their daughters or daughters might invite their friends and you can have a lively party! You may want to prepare other party food such as pizza, however please eat those 5 foods I recommend you today, and celebrate the growth of all the girls on the party, and wish them or you have such a long life with perfect health!
Which Food Will You Try on Hinamatsuri?
From savory dishes to sweet desserts and drinks, there are plenty of unique foods to try during Hinamatsuri. Which will you try?