Have you ever lost a toy to a flowing river and felt heartbroken? Well in Japan, this is done on purpose for good luck! Every Girl’s Day on March 3, Japan celebrates the beautiful festival of Hina Nagashi or the Floating Princess.
The ancient people believed that dolls could control evil spirits. So, if you make paper dolls and set them afloat in the river, they’ll take away bad luck with them and leave behind good health and luck for the family. Today, a few regions like Awashima still practice this sweet ceremony.
Here’s what happens in Hina Nagashi. People write wishes on the dolls, place them on wooden boats, and then set them free into the ocean. The dolls are elegantly dressed in yellow and red kimonos (Japanese robes) which tend to glisten in the sunlight.
If you’re worried that this practice can harm marine life, relax! Once the ceremony is over, the boats are collected and taken out of the sea and then burned in the end.
The site of over 400 yellow and red dolls floating on the blue ocean is so picturesque that you don’t want to blink!