24 SEKKI / 二十四節気 

~ 24 Divisions of The Solar Year; 24 Terms Used to Denote The Changing of The Seasons ~

 

What IS 24 Sekki?

 

A year is divided into four seasons But here in Japan, there is also a calendar to divide a year into 24 sections.

It is called “24 Sekki (24節気).

 

In days long gone, people needed to know when to sew fields, when to harvest and other things related to living with nature and the changing seasons.

 


24 Sekki (the twenty-four divisions of a year) is originally from China.

In old China, people also had troubles with the gap between their calendars and the actual seasons.

People needed to accurately know the seasons’ transitions,

and that’s why the 24 sekki was invented.

 

It came to Japan in the 6th century.

However, some of the Chinese seasons don’t match Japanese seasons,

so zassetsu (雑節 / specific days for seasons other than the twenty-four divisions of a year) was added on Japanese calendars.

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The Dates for 2021 /
The Meanings of 24 Sekki And The Zassetsu

24 SEKKI, 2021  

 

Season

Months based on 24 SEKKI

No.

SEKKI

Meaning

Date

Spring

January

1

RISSHUN

(立春)

The start of spring

Feb.4th

2

USUI

(雨水)

The season the snow changes into rain and ice changes into water”

Feb.19th

February

3

KEICHITSU

(啓蟄)

The season when wintering

insects come out of hibernation

Mar.5th

4

SHUNBUN

(春分)

The vernal spring equinox

Mar.20th

March

5

SEIMEI

清明

Clear and bright season

Apr.4th

6

KOKUU

穀雨

Grain rain season

Apr.20th

Summer

April

7

RIKKA

立夏

The beginning of Summer

May 5th

8

SHŌMAN

小満

The season when the weather becomes fine and everything starts to go well.

May 20th

May

9

BŌSHU

芒種

Time of planting grains

Jun.5th

10

GESHI

夏至

The summer solstice

Jun.21st

June

11

SHŌSHO

小暑

The beginning of midsummer

Jul.7th

12

TAISHO

大暑

Midsummer (lit. big heat, blistering heat)

Jul.22nd

Autumn

July

13

RISSHŪ

立秋

The beginning of autumn

Aug.7th

14

SHOSHO

処暑

The season in which heat stops

Aug.23rd

August

15

HAKURO

白露

The season of Glistening dew

Sep.7th

16

SHŪBUN

秋分

The autumnal equinox

Sep.22nd

September

17

KANRO

寒露

The season of cold drops of dew

Oct.8th

18

SŌKŌ

霜降

The season with the first frost of the autumn

Oct.23rd

Winter

October

19

RITTŌ

立冬

The beginning of Winter

Nov.7th

20

SHŌSETSU

小雪

The season the snow starts falling a little

Nov.22nd

November

21

TAISETSU

大雪

The season in which it snows not only in the mountains but on the plains, too

Dec.7th

22

TŌJI

冬至

The winter solstice

Dec.21nd

December

23

SHŌKAN

小寒

The beginning of midwinter and the season of cold wind the snow

Jan.6th

24

DAIKAN

大寒

The coldest season of the year (lit. big coldness)

Jan.21st

 

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Zassetsu, 2021 

 

Zassetsu

Meaning

Date

18 days period before Risshun
(立春 / The beginningof Spring)
*Doyo is a change of season.

Jan.17th~Feb.2nd

The traditional end of winter.

(Bean Throwing Night)

Feb.2nd

 

The vernal equinoctial week
(Buddhist ritual at the vernal equinox)

Mar.17th~ Mar.23rd

 

SHANICHI
(Spring) 

社日 

Tsuchinoe“ day that falls closest to the vernal equinox

(The day to worship land god)

Mar.21st

18 days period before Rikka
(立夏 / The beginning of Summer)
*Doyo is a change of season.

Apr.17th~
May 4th

 

The 88th day from the day of Risshun
(People used to consider planting rice on this day.)

May 1st

The start of the rainy season

June.11th

The 11th day from the summer solstice and the end of the rainy season

Jul.2nd

 

18 days period before Risshu(立秋 / The beginning of autumn)
*Doyo is a change of season.

Jul.19th~ Aug.6th

The 210th day from the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar.
(People have said that typhoons tend to come around this day.)

Aug. 31st

The 220th day from the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar.
(People have said that typhoons tend to come around this day, too.)

 Sep.10th

The Autumn equinoctial week.

(Buddhist ritual at the autumnal equinox)

Sep.20th~ Sep.26th

SHANICHI
(Autumn) 

社日 

Tsuchinoe“ day that falls closest to the autumnal equinox

The day to worship land god

Sep.27th

18 days period before Rittou(立冬 / The beginning of Winter)
*Doyo is a change of season.

Oct.20th~ Nov.6th

 

 

 

Category : 24 Divisions of The Solar Year , Japanese Culture , text @en

Tag : 24 divisions of the solar year , 24sekki , corona virus , COVID-19 , COVID19 , Emergency , Japanese culture , season , tanabata , The coronavirus , 日本の文化

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