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Updated: December 13, 2018
It's believed that the ancient tradition of Edo Nagashibina has been practiced since the middle of the Heian period, meaning it has close to a thousand-year history. It is held to pray for children's health and wellbeing. During the ceremony, worries about accidents befalling children are transferred to dolls made out of paper or plant-based materials. The dolls are then floated downriver to be purified.
For around 600 years, Edo Nagashibina has been held on the lunar calendar's first day of the snake on the third month of the year. This corresponds to March 3 of the modern calendar.
1,500 people selected from a pool of applicants are allowed to participate in the ceremony. Before the main event, kids from the Taito City Ishihama Hachiba Children's Center are allowed to partake in their own ceremony and release dolls from the waterside terrace.
At 12:00, the start of the ceremony, Taito City's mayor, members of the Asakusa Tourism Federation, and Asakusa's famous furisode-san (women dressed in long-sleeved kimono to resemble geisha—traditional entertainers) will release dove-shaped balloons into the air.
HOME > Edo Nagashibina (Floating Ceremony of Paper Hina Dolls)