Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 273: Shubun no Hi (spring!)

image from Japan National Tourism Organization

The first day of spring kicked off with snow flurries in New York. A bit disappointing, but spring is on the way! Feels like quite a long time since the autumnal equinox occurred six months ago and indeed it is time once again for planetary balance to be restored, at least for one day.

Since I don't have any springy photos to share, I look to Japan today and the national holiday the the spring equinox inspires there. The day is known as Shubun no Hi (しゅうぶんのひ). At spring (and autumn) equinox special Buddhist ceremonies are performed and families visit the graves of their ancestors, to clean the tombs and leave gifts of flowers, incense and ohagi, rice balls covered with soybean paste (see image above).

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