人日の節句 (Jinjitsu-no Sekku)
January 7 (Thu) in 2021
Jinjitsu (人日), literally “Human Day”, is one of the five seasonal festivals (五節句 / gosekku). It is celebrated on January 7. It is also known as “Nanakusa no sekku (七草の節句 / the feast of seven herbs), from the custom of eating seven-herb rice porridge (七草粥 nanakusa-gayu) to ensure good health for the coming year.
The name comes from an ancient Chinese custom Renri, whereby each of the opening days of the first lunar month was assigned to a particular creature, in which it was forbidden to kill on that day: thus the first seven days of the month were Chicken Day, Dog Day, Boar Day, Sheep Day, Cow Day, Horse Day, and Human Day: on this seventh day, no punishments were handed out to criminals.
The celebration of the feast in Japan was moved from the 7th day of the first lunar month to the 7th day of January during the Meiji period, when Japan adopted the solar calendar.