I had some young relatives and a neighbor over for a Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day) themed dinner. Click here to find out more about this Japanese holiday. I made a vegetarian meal tailored for American kids to eat.
I played a CD of Koto Music of Japan (Zumi-Kai Original Instrumental Group).
I decorated my dining room for Hinamatsuri. I downloaded and created an inexpensive 5 tiered Hinamatsuri doll display.
Years ago my friend gave me a hanging decoration. I hung it from my chandelier above the dining room table.
- Paper Hinamatsuri dolls on a tiered display – I printed these onto card stock, cut-out, and assembled.
- Hanging decoration
- Place card – I found these via Hiragana Mama. I printed onto card stock and colored with markers.
Hinamatsuri Paper Dolls
Hanging Hinamatsuri Decoration
Place Card at Table Setting
I found simple crafts that reinforced the cultural symbols of Hinamatsuri. We made a lot of simple origami Emperors. The kids decorated some faces as crying, angry, and laughing faces. These are for the three habits represented on the 5th tier of the doll display.
- Emperor Origami via Hiragana Mama Pinterest
- Coloring Page via Hiragana Mama Pinterest
- Maze via Hiragana Mama Pinterest
I planned the meal around a tiered rice cake that I wanted to recreate. Many years ago my friend gave me a set of cute cooking cards. I recreated a similar looking rice cake using different ingredients. See below for instructions.
- Hinamatsuri Salad – I used the holiday colors of green, white, and pink. I was inspired by this and this. My salad includes lettuce, carrot, radish, cucumber, snow peas, and pink grapefruit.
- Hinamatsuri Rice Cake – I copied the Ohinasama Sushi image from ‘with Cooking Cards’. ISBN4-06-187736-4. See below for directions.
- Hinamatsuri Fruit Kabobs – I used green melon, apple, and strawberries cut into flower shapes. I printed this image to make picks for the kabobs.
- Yogurt Fruit Dip – I added cinnamon and honey to plain Greek yogurt.
- Strawberry Pokey – I purchased from Wegmans grocery store.
- Peach Tea – I made iced tea with herbal peach tea bags.
- Ramune Japanese soda (with marble) – I purchased from Wegmans grocery store.
- Hinamatsuri Pudding – I made and layered pistachio pudding, whipped cream, and vanilla pudding (with some red food coloring).
- Strawberry Cream Cake Roll
Hinamatsuri Rice Cake
Slice of Hinamatsuri Rice Cake
How to make the Hinamatsuri Rice Cake
Rice: Use an 8 inch springform pan. Spray the inside of the springform pan with cooking spray. Cook 1 cup of raw Nishiki rice for each layer. (I used my Vegetable/Rice steamer). Green bottom layer – add some cooked food processed spinach to the hot rice until it turns the color you want. Pack the green layer into the bottom of the springform pan. White middle layer – pack the white layer on top of the green rice layer. Pink top layer – add some red food coloring to the water when cooking rice. Press the pink rice on top of the white rice later. Remove the outside of the spring form pan.
Emperor and Empress: Body – Make a triangular shaped rice ball (onigiri). Shape rice with your hand or a mold like this. Clothing – make some crepes. (my crepes were thin so I needed two for each body). Inner clothing – cut thin cucumber slices for Emperor, cut thin carrot slices for Empress. Put cucumber or carrot slices on top of the onigiri. Place onigiri in the center of the crepe and fold. Use a kitchen scissors to cut away excess crepe. Emperor’s baton – trim a piece of broccoli. Empress’s Fan – slice radish and cut ridges for fan. Belt - cut a piece of dried seaweed (Nori) with kitchen scissors. Place baton (f0r Emperor) and fan (for Empress) on top of onigiri but under nori. Press belt into crepe. Use some water if necessary to help the nori stick to the crepe. Head – Peel radishes and attach to bodies with a toothpick. Hair – cook some pieces of raw spinach a few seconds in the microwave until limp. Place spinach on top of radish heads to look like hair. Squeeze a few pieces together to form the Emperor’s topknot.
Decoration: Gently push three snow peas into the rice. Thinly slice radish and place two radish slices in front of the snow peas. Decorate around the top of the rice cake with an edible herb such as thyme (pictured).
Picture I Followed to Make Rice Cake
Hinamatsuri Fruit Kabobs
Strawberry Cream Cake Roll