Jyoushi no Sekku Festival
March 3rd (Jyoushi no Sekku/Momo no Sekku)
March 3rd, the peach festival, is called Jyoushi-no-Sekku. In China, there was the concept of "overlapping days," and they abhorred days of the month with the same number. Therefore, in ancient China, there was a custom to go to the waterfront to rinse one's mouth and wash one's hands on this unhappy day. This custom was assimilated into the Japanese custom of purifying oneself to remove dirt before the spring farming season, and became the Jyoushi-no-Sekku. It is thought that this formal event and Hiina games became one and the same, and gradually took shape to become the "Hina Matsuri".
Jyoushi-no-Sekku is girl's festival
The origin of this festival as a festival to decorate hina-dolls dates back to the mid-Heian period. In those days, on the day of purification ceremony, people prayed for the peace of the year by throwing dolls into the water, which had transferred human impurities. Gradually, these dolls became tools for the children of aristocrats to play with, and were transformed into beautiful and extravagantly dressed hina dolls. Eventually, the dolls became so gorgeous that they were displayed every year instead of being washed away in water. During the Edo period (1603-1868), the celebration of Momo no Sekku (Peach Festival) by displaying hina dolls spread to the common people. Hina dolls are an expression of the wish for the healthy growth of girls.
Jyoushi no Sekku Festival Decorations
July 7th, Tanabata Sekku-Festival, from the legend of the Star Festival introduced from China. A bamboo branch is used to wish for the improvement of arts and crafts.
Peaches are displayed on Jyoushi no Sekku. Since ancient times, peaches in China have produced a lot of fruit, so they have been a symbol of the strength of vitality, representing the prosperity of descendants and perpetual youth and longevity, as well as being regarded as the king of fruit because their aroma kept evil spirits away. Also in Japan, peaches have been regarded as trees with mysterious spiritual power to drive away evil spirits. In "Kojiki" there is a description that Izanakino Mikoto drove away the Witch of the underworld with a peach. Decorating peaches on Jyoushi no Sekku and using the spiritual power of trees to drive away evil spirits is a way to pray for your daughter's healthy growth. I guess they hoped for their daughter's happiness by relying on the life force of peaches and the spiritual power to drive away evil.
Jyoushi no sekku Festival Foods
The origin of Hishi Mochi is a rice cake made of Hahakogusa, which was eaten during the Jyoushi-Setsu festival in ancient China, with the wish that the mother and child would be healthy. In the Edo period (1603-1868), white rice cakes with water chestnuts were added, and in the Meiji period (1868-1912), red rice cakes with kuchinashi were added, resulting in three different colors. Each of these three colors represents the wish for a healthy child to grow up.
Peach color (red): The red gardenia fruit has a detoxifying effect. Red is the color to ward off evil. White: Contains castor berries that lower blood pressure and wish for prosperity of offspring, longevity, and purity.
Green: Mugwort rice cake with a strong scent to ward off evil. Wishing for healthy growth.
The order in which the three colors are placed on top of each other expresses the scene of spring. From the bottom to the top, green, white, and peach: "Under the snow, new buds are sprouting and peach blossoms are blooming."
From the bottom, in the order of white, green, and peach, "New buds are sprouting from the snow and peach blossoms are blooming."