Hina-matsuri is a
celebration for families with young girls to pray for their good health
and happiness. It is also kown as momo
no sekku (peach festival).
The dolls (hina-ningyô)
are displayed on a tiered stand (hina-dan).
White sake, diamond-shaped rice cakes (hishi-mochi),
rice crackers (hina-arare) and
other items are
offered. The hina-ningyô
was originally a plain paper doll which was set in a river to drift
away. Later it developed into the custom of displaying dolls in fine
costumes. The emperor's doll appeared in the middle of the Edo period.