Hinamatsuri, or Girls’ Day, is an annual festival in Japan celebrated on March 3rd. Although I am not Japanese, I have come to appreciate Japan’s beautiful culture (as evident from my bento hobby), and it always gets me excited to learn about things like this. This festival, albeit not a national holiday, is widely observed by the Japanese; it’s a day to celebrate women and wish for their happiness and good health, which I think is really neat.
I noticed that other bento makers prepare a set of Japanese emperor and empress characters in their bento to commemorate the festival. Thus, here’s my attempt at a hanamatsuri-themed bento with my own versions of a Japanese emperor and empress made out of onigiri. This bento was surprisingly fairly easy to put together. I didn’t have to cook anything since all the food items I needed are either already prepped or cooked. The only slight difficulty I encountered was wrapping the emperor onigiri in lettuce. I have seen other bentos wherein a thin slice of (I think) cucumber was used as a kimono for the emperor; I wanted to use something green so I used lettuce instead. Thankfully I still managed to piece it together. As for the empress onigiri, I simply wrapped it in turkey deli meat, which was already pink tinged. I used some radishes that I thinly sliced to use as fillers as well as some broccoli and the deli meat scraps that I rolled to form little flowers. I also tried my hand at making a radish flower that I put in the center of my bento, which I thought came out quite good.
Overall, I had a lot of fun making this bento, and I’m happy with how it turned out. I might explore some more hanamatsuri-themed bento and make a number of attempts at it as we lead up to the actual festival day on March 3rd. Also, how is it March already?! Not until tomorrow, but still! Time flies.