Japan: Hina-Matsuri Doll Festival

March 3rd in Japan is a doll lover’s dream. Also known as Girls’ Day,the Hina-Matsuri or doll festival takes place every year. The holiday can be traced back to ancient Japan and involves the purification ritual of getting rid of bad luck and sin.

In Ancient Times, some regions of Japanese people created paper doll doppelgangers. Called Kata Shiro, the dolls would be rubbed across the body to absorb negative energy, sickness, sin, and all other forms of imperfections. Once “full,” the dolls were cast into a body of water to take all impurities with them. READ MORE

Japan: Seijin no hi (Coming of Age Festival)

Coming of age is a serious event in Japan. So serious that the occasion is celebrated every year during the Seijin no hi (Coming of Age Festival). In Japan, twenty is considered to be the beginning of adulthood and is the minimum age for drinking, smoking, and voting.

Up until the year 2000, Seijin no hi was celebrated annually on January 15th. The national holiday is now celebrated every second Monday in January. READ MORE