The History of Lucky Dolls
March 3rd is Hinamatsuri in Japan, also known as Girl Day and Doll Day. Since the Heian period approximately 1200 years ago, people have created and displayed dolls to ensure good luck.
The dolls represent the Emperor, Empress, and their attending court. They are traditionally set upon rows of platforms covered in red carpet, with a set hierarchy for each tier. While setup can begin in February, the dolls are to be taken down by March 4th to avoid causing a late marriage for one’s daughter.
Earlier versions of Hinamatsuri show more connections to Shinto beliefs, with the dolls being created out of straw in order to contain bad spirits people wanted to drive away. The straw dolls were floated down the river on a boat, putting distance between their owners and the spirits. After fisherman complained about catching too many dolls in their nets, the ritual was moved to the sea side, where they could be recaptured en mass, and then disposed of in a fire.
Source: Hinamatsuri, Wikipedia