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Celebrate in March! Holidays
 
The Hina-matsuri Celebrate in March!
Come celebrate with us in each issue as we explore the many holidays celebrated in Asian countries each month!
 
The Folklore of World Holidays
by Margaret Read McDonald, Editor. Gale Research Inc., 1992
March 3
Hinamatsuri
Girls' Festival (Doll's Festival)

The origin of hinamatsuri is an ancient Chinese practice in which the sin of the body and misfortune are transferred to a doll and washed away by setting the doll in a river to drift away. When this practice spread to Japan, it was linked to girl's playing with dolls and in the Edo Period (1603-1867), was developed into the Hinamatsuri. Occasion to pray for young girl's growth and happiness. Most homes with girls display dolls for the Doll's Festival and dedicate peach blossoms, rice cake cubes, special colored and diamond-shaped rice cakes, white sake, and other items to them.

Source:   Painting by Akira Kajiura. To view Akira's gallery, please click on the banner at the bottom. For a selection of Hina dolls, please visit Hinako Net's Hina Dolls.

 

March 5
Feast of Excited Insects
When the insects arouse from hibernation, falls around March 5

Korea
Kyongchip
The beginning of spring

One of the twenty-four days that indicate a change of season in the lunar calendar year, in Korea Kyongchip is the time when insects awaken from their winter hibernation. Thus Kyongchip, or "excited insects," indicates the beginning of spring.

To mark this occasion, farmers sow their rice and wheat and carry flower bouquets to the graves of their ancestors.

Source:   Celebrations: Asia and the Pacific by Gene Sawyer. Honolulu: Friends of the East-West Center, 1978, p. 19.

People's Republic of China
Ching Che
Dragon calls insects to life

According to the Chinese, the "dragon raises his head" at this time. The dragon is said to go into hibernation in September in the form of a small creature and thus remains hidden until he arises and calls the insects to life.

On the day of the "excited insects" certain fetishes are displayed to placate the insects. In northern China, a block of ice is often laid on the manure in the farmyard, possibly to delay their depredations. Also a paper pennant is sometimes mounted on a reed.

In Shantung, people awaken before sunrise and cook special dumpling to assist nature in her work in awakening the slumbering vegetable and animal kingdoms. Water-jars are scoured and the clay sleeping platform is fumigated. Women are not allowed to sew since their needles may prick the dragon and he would then afflict them with boils.

In the south, women worship the White Tiger. Carrying paper images of this beast in the house is believed to keep out rats and snakes and prevent arguments.

Source:   Chinese Creeds and Customs by V. R. Bunkhardt. Hong Kong: South China Morning Post, 1982, p. 13.

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The Folklore of World Holidays by Margaret Read MacDonald (Editor), is currently not available from our online bookstore. The publisher is out of stock. You can find a copy in your local library. If you would like to purchase this title, we recommend that you occasionally check to see if it has been reprinted. The Folklore of World Holidays
 
An updated version of this book is available. Folklore of World Holidays
Robert Griffin(Editor), Ann H. Shurgin (Editor) / Hardcover / Published 1998
 

Artwork Source: Akira Kajiura. To view additional paintings by Akira Kajiura, please click on the banner below to view their gallery.

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