March 3, 2010

a day for girls -in a hurry

It is hinamatsuri, or Girls' Day today. It's the time for families with girls to put out a set of ohina-sama (hina dolls) and place hina-arare (sugar-coated popped rice) and hishimochi (rhombus-shaped, tri-color layered mochi) in front of them, and make chirashi-zushi and drink amazake. Well, only I didn't.

I thought/hoped about cooking/baking something traditional or something inspired by traditional - but alas, neither happened; I was short of time, but you can call me lazy. So instead I took a short cut and went out for a quick trip to a nearby department store and scored a few things including a cake made to look like a hishimochi adorned with an edible pair of hina dolls. So it's like two in one (hishimochi + hina dolls)! Well, sort of. Scattered around it is hina-arare, just to boost the girlie factor.

I also grabbed a ready-to-eat chirashi-zushi for lunch, which was very forgettable - I wish I'd made some by myself. Maybe one of these days.

March 3rd is also called momo-no-sekku ("peach blossoms' festival"), because it's around the time for peach blossoms to bloom - although that's in lunar calender, so today it's more like late March to early April. But the tradition of appreciating peach blossoms around hinamatsuri remains to this day and we'd look out for some, usually still in bud, as we prepare for the festival.

On my way back home I stopped by a local flower shop and picked up a small bouquet of pink peach blossoms that came with rape blossoms and tulip, both of which herald the arrival of spring; and the lady at the shop gave me a bunch of white peach blossoms, too. A small thing, but that made my day. So did the warm, sunnier day that came after days after days of clouds and rains.

So my hinamatsuri this year was a very low-key, overly casual, and very much a cut-corners version, but a couple of years ago I made a little more efforts (and managed to blog about it): here, if you're interested.

Happy Girls' Day to all the girls! -c x