Japanese Doll Festival Google Doodle

Today the Japanese are celebrating the annual Japanese Doll Festival, a tradition during which families -- especially those with young daughters -- pray for the happiness and healthy growth of girls. Google Japan is likewise celebrating, having posted a special Doodle.

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As part of the festival, also known as Girl's Day or Hina-matsuri, families display dolls on a five- or seven- tiered platform covered with a red carpet. The dolls represent the Emperor and Empress (depicted in the Doodle), attendants, and musicians. Families traditionally celebrate with a special meal of hishimochi (diamond-shaped rice cakes) and shirozake (rice malt with sake).