Every year on March 3rd, we celebrate Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri.
Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls (hina-ningyo) representi
ng the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period.
The customary drink for the festival is shirozake, a sake made from fermented rice. A colored hina-arare bite-sized crackers flavored with sugar or soy sauce depending on the region, and hishimochi a diamond-shaped colored rice cake, are served. Chirashizushi (sushi rice flavored with sugar, vinegar, topped with raw fish and a variety of ingredients) is often eaten. A salt-based soup called ushiojiru containing clams still in the shell is also served. Clam shells in food are deemed the symbol of a united and peaceful couple, because a pair of clam shells fits perfectly, and no pair but the original pair can do so.