Japanese Events and Holidays in March

In March, although there are still some cold days, we can feel the arrival of spring more often. People are waiting for the news of cherry blossoms blooming, but it is also the season when hay fever starts.

March is also the season of farewells. This is the time of year when many people say goodbye to their past lives, graduating from school or moving to start a new life.

March 3rd:  Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Festival)

Hinamatsuri” is called “Doll’s Festival” or “Girl’s Festival” in English. It is a day to pray for the health and happiness of young girls. Most families with girls display dolls for the “Hinamatsuri (Doll’s Festival)” called Hina-Ningyo. Each Hina Ningyo wears a Heian period court costume. 

March 11th: Great East Japan Earthquake

At 2:46 PM on March 11th, 2011, a massive earthquake of magnitude 9.0 struck off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, killing a great number of people due to the tsunami and other disasters.

March 20th: Shunbun no Hi (Spring Equinox Day)

It is one of Japan’s national holidays. The day on which the spring equinox occurs is selected and designated as this holiday. It is usually held on one of the days between March 20th and March 21st.
The purpose of this day is to “honor our ancestors and mourn those who are gone”.