When East Meets West: The Hina Matsuri Traditional

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Ashley Achee writes, Hina Matsuri is a traditional Japanese cultural day for families all over Japan to wish their young daughters well as they grow.

Hina Matsuri is a traditional Japanese cultural day for families all over Japan to wish their young daughters well as they grow. It also involves the display of dolls, and these dolls have a long heritage. It started in ancient Japan when mothers would make beautiful dolls for their children as presents, and has become on of the most respected art forms in all of Japan. The 40th annual celebration this year was held at the 101 year old Simpson United Methodist Church. There were many handcrafts featured as well as displays of beautifully handmade ceremonial kimonos, Ichebana flower arrangements, and bonsai tree sculptures.The Doll Festival also included Momo-No-Sekku, or The Peach Blossom Festival because it fell on March 3rd, as because of this the some of the ikebana flower arrangements included traditional peach tree branches, symbolizing happiness in marriage or beauty, gentleness, grace, and serenity. The doll festival even had live performances and traditional Japanese food. This experience was a “migoto” or beautiful, place to spend your weekend! The Evening of Japanese Culture at the Denver Botanical Gardens, sponsored by the Consulate-General of Japan, was also a truly remarkable glimpse at the beautiful aspects of Japanese culture. Amazing Japanese instruments were featured from traditional Japanese drums such as the Otsuzumi, to the Koto, a thirteen stringed instrument, similar to the harp, all masterfully played by well trained musicians, playing 19th century pieces in celebration of the coming of Spring. The event ended with a lovely “Kimono in Bloom” fashion show ranging from turn of the century to modern day kimonos. Both of these events revealed a dazzling kaleidoscope of Japanese art forms, giving the visitor a wonderful sense of the gentleness and gracefulness of Japanese art, music, and culture.