March 3rd is Girls' Day in Japan. It is a day to celebrate your little girls and wish them happiness and growth for the coming year. You can read more about it here and here.
Every year, the girls' Nana buys them each a hina, a princess doll, that we display in the house. The traditional dolls are porcelain and wear beautiful kimonos. They are displayed in enormous glass cases. Fortunately, my mother-in-law recognized the fact that I have no room in my house for such gigantic (and kind of scary looking) dolls, so she began getting them these beautiful painted wooden dolls. The two on the left are Ella's, the little purple in the middle is Penelope's, and the other four are Samantha's.
I thought the first one Samantha received was so beautiful, I just kept it up. Turns out, you're supposed to take them down, otherwise your daughter will be a spinster. So, the next year I took them down about a week later. I learned this year, the correct way to display them is to take them out a couple weeks before Girls' Day, then put them away the next day, otherwise, you will have a spinster. So, Sammy and Ella are destined to be spinsters, but I will from now on put them away March 4th. Penny should be fine, and perhaps, because my girls are hapa and their mama didn't know any better, the spinster Gods will be forgiving for Samantha and Ella. (If you don't know what hapa means, Sonia Brown gives a nice description on her blog A Hapa Girl and her Hapa Family.)
I never really know what I'm supposed to do as far as a celebration. Apparently, there are special foods to make, but I don't know how to make them. This year, my mother-in-law brought over hina-arare, special rice crackers the girls are supposed to eat for luck. So this year we will be celebrating with the crackers. Maybe next year I'll just make a special meal for them and then repeat it every year so it becomes a tradition.
If you have any little girls in your life, it's a good day to celebrate them and wish them happiness and growth.