24 Sekki / 24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 2020 And The Meanings of 24 Sekki And The Zassetsu

24 Sekki, 2021  

Season 

Months based on 24sekki 

No. 

Sekki 

Meaning 

Date 

SPRING 

January 

Risshun 
(立春)    

The start of spring 

Feb.3rd 

Usui 
(雨水)  

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

Feb.18th 

February 

Keichitsu
(啓蟄)  

The season when wintering insects come out of hibernation 

Mar.5th 

Shunbun
(春分)  

The vernal spring equinox 

Mar.20st 

March 

Seimei
(清明) 

Clear and bright season 

Apr.4th 

Kokuu
(穀雨)   

Grain rain season 

Apr.20th 

SUMMER 

April 

Rikka
(立夏)   

The beginning of Summer 

May 5th 

Shoman
(小満)   

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

May 21st

May 

Boushu
(芒種)   

Time of planting grains 

Jun.5th 

10 

Geshi
(夏至)   

The summer solstice 

Jun.21st

June 

11 

Shousho
(小暑)   

The beginning of midsummer 

Jul.7th 

12 

Taisho
(大暑)   

Mid summer

(lit. big heat, blistering heat) 

Jul.22nd

AUTUMN 

July  13  Risshu
(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  Shubun
(秋分)  
The autumnal equinox 
Sep.23rd
 
September  17  Kanro
(寒露)   
The season of cold drops of dew 
Oct.8th 
 
18  Soukou
(霜降) 
The season with the first frost of the autumn 
Oct.23rd 
 

WINTER

October

19

Rittou
(立冬)

Thebeginningof Winter

Nov.7th

 

20

Shosetsu
(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

Touji
(冬至)

The winter solstice

 

Dec.22nd

 

December

23

Shokan
(小寒)

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

2022
Jan.5th

24

Daikan
(大寒)

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

Jan.20th

 

 

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Zassetsu, 2020 

 

Zassetsu

Meaning

Date

Fuyu-doyo 

冬土用 

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

 

Haru-Higan 

彼岸 

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

Haru-doyo 

春土用 

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

 

Natsu-doyo 

夏土用 

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

Jul.19th~ Aug.6th

Nihyaku-Toka 

二百十日 

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

Nihhaku-hatsuka 

二百二十日 

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

Aki-higan 

秋彼岸 

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

Aki-doyo 

秋土用 

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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