When Is Higan?
Autumn Equinoctial Week is from September 20 (Mon) to September 26 (Sun), 2021.
Higan is the period of three days before and after the Autumnal Equinox Day. It becomes cooler around this period.
What Is Higan And What People Do in Japan?
“Higan (彼岸)” means another world. It originally meant spiritual enlightenment in Buddhism, but “Higan” as a custom is traditionally specific to Japan.
People visit their ancestors’ graves and put rice cakes covered with bean jam, dumplings, and other things on their household shrines.
The photo below is the rice cakes covered with bean jam (ohagi).
Food Changes Its Name Depending on The Season
Their name changes depending on the season, and they are named after a seasonal flower.
It is called “ohagi (おはぎ)”, because it is the bush clover (hagi / 萩) season, around the Autumnal Equinox Day.
(Photo: hagi / bush clover)
Around the Vernal Equinox, it is called “bota-mochi (ぼたもち)”, because it is the peony flower (botan / 牡丹) season.
(Photo: botan (peony)