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March Equinox: How is it celebrated in Japan?

March Equinox: How is it celebrated in Japan?

Image: Wallpapers craft

 

March Equinox also known as the Vernal Equinox is a holiday celebrated in Japan and across Asia, welcoming the spring season. This day became an official public holiday in 1948, and is typically celebrated on March 20th/21st which helps to mark the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Keep reading to find out how Japan celebrates this special day!

 

On the day of the Vernal Equinox the sun rises in the east and sets exactly in the west, making day and night of equal length and marking the beginning of spring in Japan. Traditionally known as Shunbun no Hi, it's a day to reflect with nature and to spend quality time with family.

 

The celebratory period begins three days before the Vernal Equinox and ends three days after (making it last over a seven day period), this is commonly referred to as higan. Higan is a time where families come together and pay respects to ancestors by visiting their grave at the cemetery and offering gifts such as flowers and incense. The gravestones are often hand-washed by family members to honour their families before the coming of spring. It is also customary to spring clean the house during this time which is also followed by many families in Japan.

 

Food also plays an important part of Higan, and an offering of botamochi (rice dumplings covered in red bean paste) is made to the ancestors after the memorial services. 

 

If you can't join the Vernal Equinox celebrations this year, why not create some delicious meals at home with the help of our Japanese range.

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