Equinox Days are Japanese national holidays. Why?


今日、3月20日は春分の日です。Today, Mar 20 is Vernal Equinox Day, and National Holiday in Japan. (Every ear, either 20th or 21st of March, which is depending on the year, due to Gregorian calendar)

Vernal Equinox Day and Autumn Equinox Day are Japanese National Holidays.
Even some Japanese wonders why these days are the national holidays, and what for?
So I searched internet 😉

Why Vernal Equinox Day is a National Holiday?

We have a custom called “Ohigan”, which is reaching to the other side (his side – the state of enlightenment), for those who practice Buddhist asceticisms.  However the term we use “Ohigan” nowadays is rather referring to our custom visiting cemetery. Japanese dictionary says: Ohigan is Equinoctial week (when Buddhist services are held): two periods of seven days with the middle day falling on the spring or autumn equinox

According to the Japanese Law on National Holidays, defined as follows:
Vernal Equinox Day – Respect nature and cherish living creatures.
Autumn Equinox Day – Respect ancestors and remember the deceased.

I found this beautiful. In Japan, finally we can feel spring these days. Enjoy this beautiful season!
Well, it seems blooming Sakura is a bit later than last year by few days.

Forecast of Cherry blossom blooming in 2017:

– Fukuoka  3/24 (start) 4/5 (full)
– Osaka  4/1 (start)  4/9 (full)
– Tokyo  3/24 (start)  4/2 (full)
– Aomori 4/25 (start)  4/29 (full)

I personally finds Spring is the best season to visit japan!
If you cannot visit so soon, Aomori (Hirosaki park) is highly recommended. 🙂

Here is the useful app when you travel to Japan.
Traverler’s Japanese iPhone App

Looking forward your visit to Japan!



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About Author

Konnichiwa! My name is Kazue. Thank you for visiting my blog/learning Japanese website! I was born and grown up in Kanto (east side of Japan) till 18 and had been living and working in Kansai (west side of Japan). I have been teaching Japanese for 10 years at Universities, Language Schools, and Companies, including One-to-One and Private Sessions in the US, Australia and Singapore. I have completed my master’s degree in Japanese Applied Linguistics in Australia. My passion is teaching. I'll be happy if you enjoy browsing this site and learn Japanese :)

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