What do you do on the winter solstice in Japan?

Winter Solstice and Hot Bath

December 22nd is the winter solstice (Touji / 冬至 in Japanese)  this year.

On this day, the day time is the shortest and the night is the longest in the year in the northern hemisphere.

In Japan, people say if you have a hot bath scented with yuzu (an aromatic citron), and eat pumpkins, you won’t catch a cold.

(Picture: Yuzu)

 

Winter Solstice and Food in Japan

Is Pumpkin The Only Food For Touji (冬至 / The Winter Solstice)?

The answer is No.

People say that foods that have “n(ん)” in its name make you lucky! It is because “n” is the last character in the hiragana order. Since it is the end of hiragana, people gave the same meaning as the day of “touji (the winter solstice).

So, ninjin (carrot), daikon (Japanese white radish), udon (thick white noodles), ginnan (ginkgo nut) and …any food which has “n” in its name are supposed to be lucky food to eat on this day!

(Picture: Ginkgo nut)

 

Benefits of Food with “n”

Eating these foods is not only to be superstitious, but it is also to take nourishment such as vitamins and carotene for the season when a lot of flu is going around.
People used to eat these vegetables for prevention against the flu and cold.

Depending on the region, people eat konnyaku (a gelatinous food made from devil’s-tongue starch) on this day. It is called “suna-oroshi” which means cleaning dirt or sand out of the digestive system. Konyaku is well known as good for the digestive system, and people used to eat it on the new year’s eve, the day before the calendrical beginning of spring or after year-end house cleaning. Because of these customs, it seems people started to eat it on Touji (The Winter Solstice), too.

(Photo: Konnyaku)

These days few people take notice of annual functions, but if you look into the reasons and customs, you would be amazed at how much knowledge people in old days had, and how reasonable and wisely they practiced their knowledge through annual functions.

 

 

Category : text @en

Tag : corona virus , COVID-19 , COVID19 , Emergency , The coronavirus , 日本の文化

Kagoshima Hall of Modern Literature & Kagoshima Marchen Hall

Kagoshima Hall of Modern Literature &...

The museum presents novelists who related to...

Shiroyama Area

Shiroyama Area

Shiroyama is located in Culture Zone which i...

Furusato Hotspring

Furusato Hotspring

[Notice]
Furusato Hotspring has been c...

Ishibashi Memorial Hall & Gion-no-su Park

Ishibashi Memorial Hall & Gion-n...

Five Historical stone bridges used tospan th...

Ruin of Tsurumaru Castle. Kagoshima prefectural historical museum「REIMEIKAN」

Ruin of Tsurumaru Castle. Kagoshima p...

The castle which was built by the 18th lord ...

Kagoshima City

Kagoshima City

Kagoshima City is the capital of Kagoshima p...

Amami Oshima

Amami Oshima

The island is blessed with the cobalt blue s...

Yoron

Yoron

Yoron is a small but the first class resort ...

Mishima Islands & Toshima Islands

Mishima Islands & Toshima Islands

Non touristic but beautiful islands remain l...

Jambo-mochi

Jambo-mochi

Jambo is Kagoshima's local sweet. It is rice...

Kagoshima City Aquarium “Io World”

Kagoshima City Aquarium “Io Wor...

The aquarium introduces sea creatures which ...

Waterfront’s New Spot “DOLPHIN PORT”

Waterfront’s New Spot “DO...

Kagoshima's newest spot "Dolphin Port" opene...

June , 2020

U M T W R F S
 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 
27 
28 
29 
30 
  
   
    
     

Event & Art

LAKE IMUTA UME MARATHON RACE 2020 (第40回いむた池梅マラソン大会)

LAKE IMUTA UME MARATHON RAC...

start : Feb. 23, 2020

MINAMI-SATSUMA GANJIN WALK 2020 <br />(Minami-satsuma Kaido Ganjin-no Michi-aruki<br /> / 第8回 南さつま海道 鑑真の道歩き)

MINAMI-SATSUMA GANJIN WALK ...

start : Feb. 22, 2020〜Feb. 23, 2020

SHIBUSHI HINA DOLLS EXHIBISION 2020<br /> SHIBUSHI-no HINA-NINGYO-TEN / <br />志布志のひな人形展

SHIBUSHI HINA DOLLS EXHIBIS...

start : Feb. 18, 2020〜Mar. 15, 2020

Food & Drink