Kyoto Festival: Doll Ritual at Shimogamo Shrine (Nagashibina)


【Nagashi bina】
March 3rd in Japan is Hina-matsuri (Girls Day). So how do they celebrate this special day? Households with girls, usually display beautiful Hina Ningyo (Hina Dolls) inside their houses. Hina Dolls are an extravagant set of dolls which are displayed in levels, with the powerful and beautiful Emperor and Empress sitting on the top.

Also on this day, festivals and ceremonies are held throughout Japan to pray for a happy and healthy life for one’s daughter. At Shimogamo Shrine, a famous Shinto shrine in Kyoto, a ceremony called Nagashi Bina is held. Nagashi Bina is a special ceremony where a couple dressed in ancient Heian period style clothing,-put Hina dolls into the sacred stream. Afterwards, children and adults also put their Hina dolls into the sacred water. By letting the Hina dolls float away, it’s believed that it will protect children from evil, and pray for their safety and health. Enjoy!

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Music: ‘Imagine Anything’ by Dan Phillipson.