The Doll Festival. I didn't go to a temple to see the festivities, but our very nice neighbors invited me over to make the rice cakes which are traditionally made for this event. (There is a square shaped variety that is more widespread; the kind I helped make is called okoshimono, which is apparently traditional in the Nagoya area.)
We took rice powder and mixed it with water, then pressed the sticky paste/dough into hand carved molds, decorating it with dough that had been died pink, yellow, or green. Apparently the molds are very expensive; our neighbors` must have been passed down through the years. There were bird, prayer card, and flower shapes, among others.We put plastic wrap down first, to keep the sticky rice from caking over them.
After you've molded your rice, you steam it. When it`s done, you can wrap it in some seaweed and eat it with soy sauce, or some soy sauce and sugar. (Or, you can skip the seaweed and soy sauce and just dip it in sugar, like a friend did).
These rice cakes are apparently rather expensive if you don`t make them on your own. I`m grateful to have had the opportunity to make them (and eat them)!
Very unskillfully coloured... But still tasty.