Nagashibina is a ceremony in which disasters that can befall children are imbued in human-shaped dolls made of paper or plant materials. These dolls are sent down the river to exorcise these disasters and pray for the health of children. This ancient Japanese tradition has been practiced for approximately 1,000 years since the middle of the Heian period. Starting around 600 years during the Muromachi period, it came to be performed on March 3 of the lunar calendar (the first Day of the Snake in March).
A total of 1,500 people from the general public, who applied to take part, participate on the day of this ceremony. Before that, children from the Taito City Ishihama Hachiba Children’s Center are specially allowed to participate by performing nagashibina from the Shinsui Terrace and boats with hina decorations.
At the same time, balloons shaped like doves are released by women wearing long-sleeved kimono (an Asakusa specialty) together with the mayor of Taito City and the president of the Asakusa Tourism Federation (starts at 12:00 p.m.).