Another Hinamatsuri tradition includes floating a straw or paper doll down the river in certain areas of Japan which symbolizes a protection for the image of the person the doll represented. In other words, you make a doll that looks you then you would rub it over your body to pick up anything bad you needed to get rid of (early ju-ju?) then float it away on a tiny boat for a prosperous year.
There are a very obvious problems with this tradition even in modern Japan where the tiny boats/dolls get stuck in fishing nets so now, the dolls are floated away but someone then goes and collects them all, takes them to the temple and burns them to release the bad ju-ju.
Having grown up in Phoenixville (PA) and spent my childhood summers in Ashville (OH and yes really!), I am very familiar with the power of fire for cleansing, rebirth and new chances.
There are lots of fancy ways you could make a paper doll model of yourself. Here are a couple fun websites where you can turn yourself into a Powerpuff Girl like this:
Or a Disney character like this:
I decided a plainer backdrop would be easier to cut out…
So I am going to cut this out and … we’ll see. I don’t know that I need to float away or burn just now (beyond a bath with candles). 😉
There are also lots of hinamaturi related paper doll printables out there for personal use on pinterest and Google if you’re motivated.
What are you going to do today?