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三月〈弥生〉March / Yayoi


三日

3rd

上巳の節句と呼ばれるひな祭りの起源は、中国古代の禊の行事だったと云われています。日本各地で行われている「流し雛」はこの日、水辺で体を清め、邪気を祓ったという中国の故事に習った物で、それがひな祭りの始まりとされています。京都では毎年、下鴨神社の御手洗川にさんだわらに乗せた紙雛が流され、この形代がいつしか、宮廷の姫君たちの「雛遊び」となっていったのは平安時代。美しい雛飾りで桃の節句を祝うようになったのは江戸時代に入ってからという事です。

現代では、お雛様を飾ると必ず食されるのがばら寿司で、京都のばら寿司は酢飯に雑魚や干瓢、椎茸、高野豆腐等を混ぜ、その上に海苔と金糸卵をのせ、紅ショウガ等を散らした、生魚等を加えないスタイルです。

Hinamatsuri is the Girl’s Festival. Also known as Joshi No Sekku, it appears to have taken an interesting route from its origin as an ancient Chinese purification rite. There is a custom followed throughout Japan at this time, Nagashi-bina, involving floating small Hina dolls, which take the form of idealized princesses, on a body of water. It’s said to interpret the scene of ancient Chinese devotees bathing themselves in a sacred river to drive evil spirits from their lives. The princesses of the royal court during Japan’s Heian Era, about a millennium ago, prettified the picture by employing stylized dolls in their place, and the Hinamatsuri was born. It originated in Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine where, right on temple property, is a small inlet of the waters flowing beneath Kyoto. Considered to be consecrated, it is referred to as the Mitarashigawa. The settings of unearthly beauty and exquisite accessories that today represent the observance of this peach-blossom festooned festival began around the turn of the 17th century.

The fare served during contemporary Hinamatsuri celebrations is bara-sushi. Unlike typical sushi, raw fish is replaced with dried, along with kampyo (dried gourd), shiitake, koya-tofu (which has been somewhat “freeze-dried”, giving it a special, spongy texture that let’s it absorb the flavors of the spices it’s seasoned with). These ingredients are topped with thin strips of nori seaweed, and small strips of egg omelet and pickled ginger.

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