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 2022 /
The Meanings of 24 Sekki And The Zassetsu

24 SEKKI, 2022  

 

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.21st

March

          5          

SEIMEI

清明

Clear and bright season

Apr.5th

          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 21st

May

          9

BŌSHU

芒種

Time of planting grains

Jun.6th

         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.23rd

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.8th

         16

SHŪBUN

秋分

The autumnal equinox

Sep.23rd

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.22nd

December

         23

SHŌKAN

小寒

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

Jan.5th

         24

DAIKAN

大寒

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

Jan.20th

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Zassetsu, 2022

 

Zassetsu Meaning

Date

FUYU-DOYŌ
冬土用 
18 days period before Risshun
(立春 / The beginningof Spring)
*Doyo is a change of season.
Jan.17th~Feb.3rd
SETSUBUN
節分 
The traditional end of winter.
(Bean Throwing Night)
Feb.3rd
HARU-HIGAN
彼岸 
The vernal equinoctial week
(Buddhist ritual at the vernal equinox)
Mar.18th~ Mar.24th
SHANICHI
(Spring)
社日 
Tsuchinoe“ day that falls closest to the vernal equinox
(The day to worship land god)
Mar.16th
HARU-DOYŌ
春土用 
18 days period before Rikka
(立夏 / The beginning of Summer)
*Doyo is a change of season.
Apr.17th~
May 4th
HACHIJŪ-HACHIYA
八十八夜 
The 88th day from the day of Risshun
(People used to consider planting rice on this day.)
May 2nd
NYŪBAI
入梅 
The start of the rainy season June.11th
HANGESHŌ
半夏生
The 11th day from the summer solstice and the end of the rainy season Jul.2nd
NATSU-DOYŌ
夏土用 
18 days period before Risshu(立秋 / The beginning of autumn)
*Doyo is a change of season.
Jul.20th~ Aug.6th
NIHYAKU-TŌKA
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.)
Sep. 1st
NIHYAKU-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.11th
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.22nd
AKI-DOYŌ
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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