In Japan, not only the changing seasons, but also annual events and lifestyle wisdom are incorporated into the calendar, which serves as a guide for daily life . These markers of daily life allow us to understand the subtle changes in the seasons that cannot be grasped by dates alone.

What is a seasonal festival?
  • around the seasons

    Japan has four seasons, which are represented as spring, summer, fall, and winter.

    Then, there are the seasonal turning points called the 24 solar terms, which are further subdivided, and the 72 seasons, which express the expression of each season.

    Various events and customs of the year revolve around the calendar [24 solar terms] (seasonal milestones).

    When you become aware of the changes in the seasons and the slope of the sun, you will notice the lives and wisdom of people throughout history, and you will find hints to enjoy a life that enjoys the whispers of nature and the four seasons.

    24 solar terms (Nijuushisetsuki)

    The 24 solar terms are indicators of seasonal changes.

    The seasons are divided into four categories: spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and the 24 solar terms (divided approximately every 15 days) are collectively called the ``24 solar terms'', centering on turning points such as the vernal equinox, autumnal equinox, summer solstice, and winter solstice. .

  • The slope of the sun and the turning points of the seasons


    As the seasons change, [seasonal milestones] are expressed as very important times.
    Among these, it is considered important

    summer solstice

    winter solstice

    Vernal equinox

    autumnal equinox

    These are collectively called ``Nishinibun'' .

    They are classified as ``mid-season'' (spring, summer, fall, and winter), and are considered to be very important milestones that pay close attention to the direction of the sun.

  • 2-2 and the movement of the sun


    [Vernal Equinox] [Autumn Equinox]

    A period when day and night are approximately the same time because the sun rises due east and sets due west

    【summer solstice】

    The longest period of the year from sunrise to sunset

    【winter solstice】

    The shortest day period from sunrise to sunset during the year

    At the vernal equinox, the short days of winter become longer towards the summer solstice , and at the autumnal equinox, the long days of summer become shorter towards the winter solstice .

    In addition, the beginnings of the seasons (the days when the seasons start) [the first day of spring, the first day of summer, the first day of autumn, and the first day of winter] are collectively called Shiryu .

    These eight important milestone days on the calendar, ``Ni-Nibun'' and ``Shiri,'' are collectively called ``Hassetsu.''

  • Why are [summer solstice and winter solstice] not designated as holidays?

    The summer and winter solstices are not designated as holidays, unlike the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, because there is no equinox.

    Originally, the equinox was cherished as a major event in the imperial court, as the ``Spring Imperial Festival'' (Vernal Equinox Day) and ``Autumn Imperial Spirit Festival'' (Autumn Equinox Day), but due to a change in the law, it was changed to ``Vernal Equinox Day'' and ``Autumn Equinox Day''. Even though it has been named "Higan", the customs have been inherited and it has been designated as a national holiday.

    Vernal equinox day and autumnal equinox day are designated as [national holidays] as follows.

    Vernal Equinox Day (Vernal Equinox Day)
    Autumn Equinox Day (Autumn Equinox Day), a holiday to “praise nature and care for living things”
    A holiday to honor our ancestors and remember those who have passed away

    The summer solstice is the longest period of the year from sunrise to sunset.
    The winter solstice is the shortest period of the year from sunrise to sunset, and the weather can put a strain on the body, especially in the heat and cold, so we pray for good health and eat nutritious foods. There is a custom of taking .

Two solstice, two minutes

Four standing