【NEW】季節をめぐるー二十四節気 第5番目「清明(せいめい)」ー

[NEW] Around the seasons - 24 solar terms 5th "Seimei" -

24 solar terms 5th Seimei

The season is late spring.

[All things have come to this point, and are all pure and pure]

Seimei is an abbreviation for ``cleanliness, clarity,'' and refers to the time when everything becomes lively and pure.

Just as the word suggests, the flowers are blooming beautifully in a warm, cheerful atmosphere, and during our morning walks, the sparrow chicks born in spring are practicing their flight all at once.
The southeast wind that heralds the arrival of spring with the refreshing sunshine --- the [Seimei wind] blows softly, and is said to be the spring wind ``Kunpu'' that brings the scent of flowers.




Now, I would like to introduce the events that took place during the Qingming period.

[Events during the Qingming period]

●Cherry blossom viewing (April)
●Qingming Festival (April 5th)

Qingming Festival is a public holiday celebrated on the 15th day after the vernal equinox, and the three days including that day are legal holidays, during which people visit graves. (In Japan, it is an annual event equivalent to Obon.)

●Flower Festival (April 8th)

The Flower Festival is a Buddhist celebratory event held on April 8th, the birthday of Buddha. Regardless of sect, it is widely used in temples and Buddhist schools.

●Easter (April 9th)

Easter is a day to celebrate and remember Jesus Christ's resurrection on the third day after his crucifixion and execution. In Christianity, it is considered the most important event of spring, celebrating the rebirth and prosperity of life.

●New academic year/Entrance ceremony (early April)

This is the day when you start a new school, grade, or workplace, and stand on a new stage.

●Jusan Shrine (April 13th)

Jusanmairi is a traditional event to celebrate the healthy growth of boys and girls who have turned 13 years old (12 years old at full age).

[Seimei Festival]

[Seimei Festival] In regions that used the ``lunar solar calendar,'' such as China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, an event called ``Seimei Festival'' is held. In Japan, it is held as the Okinawan "Seimei Festival" and was introduced from China. It is a big event, along with Obon and New Year's, in which all relatives gather at the graves of their ancestors and offer offerings such as alcohol, heavy food, and cut flowers.

In China, people only visit graves during Qingming Festival (or Chongyang Festival), so most people spend their time visiting graves during Qingming Festival. The reason why Seimei Festival did not take root throughout Japan is probably due to the time difference with the mainland and the fact that the ``Higan'' had already existed.


(In Honshu, Japan, people visit graves on the previous seasonal equinox as the equinox. In addition, the vernal equinox is celebrated as the day when the length of the day and night are almost equal, and in the United States, the first day of Spring ( It is said to be the first day of spring.

In China, a banquet is held immediately after visiting a grave, and a large banquet space is usually set up around the grave, so that people can eat offerings and other delicacies on the spot. In front of Okinawan graves, there is also a large space for the ``Seimei Festival'', where banquets are also held. It's a very lively event.


[“Qingming Festival” food]


Meals for Seimei Festival vary depending on the region, and are strongly influenced by the region. Also, during the Qingming Festival, it is customary in many regions to eat cold foods.

The most famous Qingming Festival food is `` Qingtuan , ' ' a green rice cake or dumpling made from mugwort.

 It is also called ``Qingmingguo'' because it is a seasonal fruit that is filled with the vitality of all things. Qingdan is a popular rice cake in China with its soft and chewy texture, and although it is sold all year round, the Qingming Festival is the best time to sell it.


seasonal food


The fact that seasonal ingredients change throughout the year is a pleasure unique to Japan, which has four seasons.

Seasonal ingredients are useful for maintaining daily health, as they contain the ingredients your body needs at that time of year and help your body adapt to the upcoming climate.

Let's decorate your table with delicious fresh ingredients.

24 solar terms 5th Introducing the ingredients that are in season around Qingming.

◆ Vegetables ◆

Qingming is the time when spring taste hunting such as bamboo shoot digging and strawberry picking becomes popular.

Bamboo shoots in particular are said to taste best if you dig them just before they appear on the ground. If it is freshly picked, it will not have any harsh taste or bitterness and can be enjoyed raw.
In addition, fuki (fuki) is also in season. Fushimi is one of the few vegetables native to Japan.

◆ Fish ◆

The fish that is in season is bonito!

The bonito that travels north from the southern seas through the Pacific Ocean near Japan on the Kuroshio current is called ``hatsugatsuo'' or ``upward bonito.'' During the Edo period, the first bonito was prized. The light and elegant taste is a characteristic of this season's bonito.


The ``first bonito'' from March to May is refreshing, so seared bonito

The return bonito from September to November is fatty, so we recommend eating it as sashimi .



During the Qingming period, the Seventy-Two Lords were expressed as follows.

The 13th candidate <Itaru Gencho>
Around April 5th to April 9th, 2023

When the summer swallows migrate

This is the season when swallows, which spend the winter on the warm islands of Southeast Asia, cross the ocean and come to Japan. The arrival of swallows signifies spring in full swing and the agricultural season.

In Japan, there is a legend that ``happiness will come'' to houses where swallows build nests. In Europe, the bird returns around Easter, so it is also treated as a symbol of "resurrection and rebirth."

Next candidate 14th candidate <Kogan Kitasu>
April 10th to April 14th, 2023 Around the time when geese, which spent the winter in Japan, leave for the northern countries.

Geese leave Japan, replacing swallows (Tsubame Kitaru), who arrive in spring.

Wild geese have often appeared in literary works since ancient times, and are used in various haiku and songs. It is also derived from the Japanese sweets ``Rakugan'' and the high-quality stem tea ``Karigane'', indicating that it is a migratory bird that has been a part of Japanese life since ancient times.

The last of the 15th cases <First appearance of rainbow (first appearance of rainbow)>
From April 15th to April 19th, 2023

After the spring rains, when the first rainbow appears in the sky.


As the summer approaches, there will be days when the atmospheric conditions are unstable and there will be more showers. This is the season when rainbows begin to appear in the west after a sudden rain. ``Rainbow'' is a seasonal word for summer, but spring is sung as ``spring rainbow,'' and autumn is sung as ``autumn rainbow.'' In the 72nd season, the first lord of the 20th season of the 24 solar terms, Koyuki, in November is juxtaposed with Nijikakurete Miezu.

``Nijizofumi'' refers to the time in late autumn when the sun's power weakens and rainbows are no longer visible, and ``Nijijijimi'' refers to the time in spring when rainbows begin to appear after the rain.


* * *

Let's enjoy the season when the plants shine brightly !


It's a pleasant time to go out, so we recommend bringing a bento packed with seasonal ingredients and heading out for a walk in the countryside, which is rich in nature. Enjoy the beauty of flowers and the refreshing spring breeze in nature.

The next seasonal season will be ``Kokuu''.

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