Hinamatsuri (雛祭り, Girl's Festival) is a Japaneses traditional event annually held on March 3rd, where people celebrate and pray for the health of their daughters. There are various opinions about the origin of the festival, and there's no historical evidence to identify the beginning of the custom.
Some say the Hina asobi (雛遊び, doll play in the Heian period) is the origin, whereas others say it was developed from a custom called Nagashihina (流し雛, a Chinese custom in which people float paper dolls on the river in an attempt to ward off troubles and misfortune). In the Edo period, it became nationwide to display a set of Hinaningyo (雛人形, dolls for Hinamatsuri) at homes.
The first Hinamatsuri for a girl is called Hatsuzekku (初節句) and we have a tradition to dress the baby girl in a Kimono called Hifu (被布) on this day. Hifu was originally a overcoat for Kimono worn by tea ceremony masters and haiku (俳句) poets, and later became a Haori (羽織, jacket over kimono) for Mitsumi Kimono (三つ身, kimono for toddlers which require fabric of the triple length) mainly worn for Shichigosan (七五三, celebration of child’s third, fifth and seventh years) events. Sleeveless became a regular shape of Hifu after it became common among girls. When a girl become seven years old, she no longer wears Hifu, and wears Yotsumi kimono (四つ身, kimono for toddlers which require fabric of 4 times length) instead. In addition, Obi (帯) belt is worn in the same manner as adults do.
Isn't it a nice idea to wear Kimono on Hinamatsuri day? Kimono is not for the New Year's Day or Shichigosann only.
Click here to see a Bolg by a Former Maiko, "Do You Know?"