24 solar terms 24th
[Great cold weather]
It's the coldest time of the year.
This is the last milestone of the 24 solar terms.
The next seasonal season is the first [Risshun], which marks the start of spring on the calendar.
The lowest temperatures are often recorded at this time of year in many places, and the region is more likely to be affected by heavy snow and cold waves. However, it is also around this time that I begin to feel Ibuki in the spring.
Once the cold weather reaches its bottom, it will gradually become warmer and the flowers of the butterbur will begin to appear. The long-awaited arrival of spring.
However, there is a strong cold wave forecast, so it seems like it will be a while before we can find spring.
[Great Cold] is centered around the practice of [Kan], which is a continuation of the previous seasonal [Kan].
Setsubun is held on the last day of the Great Cold as a turning point between winter and spring.
Now, we will introduce the customs of [Great Cold] step by step!
1. [Winter greetings]
Around this time, there is a custom of sending ``Kanchu Migashi'' as a seasonal greeting card to express concern for the cold .
Winter greeting cards are sent as seasonal greeting cards to show concern for the other person during the coldest season of the year and to report on each other's current situation. Other common content includes apologies for missing New Year's greetings while in mourning, apologies for not being able to reach out to others about the death, and condolences to show concern for the person in mourning. These days, people may not have the habit of mailing New Year's cards or letters, and instead use email or SNS to communicate with each other.
The time to send greetings during the winter is said to be during the winter months from the end of the Matsu-no-uchi period until the first day of spring .
2. [Cold preparation]
Previous PostThe period after the 9th day of the cold season is called ``Kan-ku'' and is said to be ``the day when the water is the clearest in the year.'' The water is used to create a unique Japanese food culture that is unique to this time of year. there is.
- What is cold preparation?
The term is originally derived from the word ``kanzukuri,'' which was used in the production of sake. " Kanjikomi " refers to preparing soy sauce, miso, and sake during the "cold" season.
Why do we prepare it during the cold season?
1. Mold is less likely to grow in winter because the temperature is low and it is difficult for bacteria to breed.
2. Fermentation can be promoted slowly at low temperatures, bringing out the flavor.
3. It can be prepared using fresh soybeans and rice that have just been harvested in the fall.
Temperature control is very important when making fermented foods, and it is said that cold temperatures make it difficult for bacteria to enter the food, and that slow fermentation at low temperatures brings out the flavor and allows the food to ripen.
It is said that sake is prepared carefully to produce a fine, high-quality sake, and in the past it was called ``kansake'' and was treated as something special.
There are also ``cold eggs'', ``cold mushrooms'', and ``kan nori'', which are said to be of high quality and nutritious during the cold season. In particular, eggs laid during the Great Cold are called ``Great Cold Eggs,'' and they have come to be respected.
◆What is “Okan Tamago”?
In the 72nd season of the Great Cold, it is the time when the chickens begin to grow cold. In other words, it's the time when chickens start laying eggs, sensing the signs of spring.
In modern times, chicken farming has become central, but chickens were originally a valuable food product that could only be produced from spring to early summer. Nowadays, eggs are available in stores regardless of the season, so it doesn't really feel like they're in season, but eggs are in season from February to April. It is said that the nutritive value is high because it takes time to mature inside the mother's body during the cold season. This only applies to fertilized eggs; unfertilized eggs do not change in taste or quality throughout the year.
The day that separates the beginning of a season from the previous day is called Setsubun.
Speaking of [Setsubun], the day before [Rishun] (February 4th) is famous, but originally [Setsubun] is visited four times a year.
Since Risshun in the lunar calendar was the new year, it is said that it began the day before to ward off evil spirits, and it is said that it was a day similar to today's New Year's Eve. Nowadays, only the day before the first day of spring remains as Setsubun, and there are still customs such as throwing beans and eating ehomaki and sardines as an event to pray for good health throughout the year.
The lucky direction of 2024 is towards “ East-Northeast” !
Eho refers to the direction ruled by Toshitokujin, and refers to the auspicious direction determined for that year. Ehomaki is a sushi roll with the meaning of ``bringing in good fortune'', so it is said that if you eat facing that direction, it will bring you better fortune.
Ehomaki is eaten as it is without cutting it into pieces, because the rolled sushi brings in good fortune and good fortune, so that happiness and wishes come true for the year. It is said that this is to ensure that there is no such thing.
Since ancient times, it has been common to use seven types of maki rolls, which have been said to bring good luck, but these days there are many different types of ehomaki. There is no set rule for Ehomaki, so please enjoy Setsubun with your favorite Ehomaki at least once a year.
The period of [Great Cold War] is expressed as follows in the 72 Kudos.
The first maiden <70th maiden " Fukino Hanasaku">
From January 20th to January 24th, 2023
When the butterfly bush sprouts buds from beneath the snow
In the bitter cold, when the butterbur flowers start to peek out from the snow-covered ground. It's a happy time that gradually makes you feel that spring is almost here.
Second candidate <71st candidate "Mizusawa Haraken">
From January 25th to January 29th, 2023
When it's so cold that even the flowing river water freezes and becomes thick and thick.
The water is getting colder, making it the coldest time of the year. At this time of year, strong cold air tends to come in from the continent, bringing record-breaking snowfall and the lowest temperatures.
Last Descendant <72nd Descendant "Chicken's First Chicken">
Around January 30th to February 4th, 2023
When the chickens start laying eggs, sensing the signs of spring
In modern times, chicken farming has become central, but chickens were originally a valuable product that could only be produced from spring to early summer. Nowadays, eggs are available in stores regardless of the season, so there is little sense of seasonality, but eggs are in season from February to April. It is said that during the cold season, the nutritional value of the fruit increases as it takes time to mature inside the mother's body.
The cold season is also the coldest time of the year, and it's a time when we spend a lot of time at home. During the cold weather, it is recommended to build up your physical strength by eating foods that are in season. While we are feeling the cold of the Great Cold by participating in events and cooking with seasonal foods, we can also feel the signs of spring in the land.
Let's prepare for spring little by little.