Shunbun no hi is the Japanese holiday which celebrates the spring equinox in Japan. This holiday falls on Friday the 20th March this year and is part of a seven day period known as Haru no Higan (Spring Higan). On Shunbun no hi (March 20th 2020), the hours of light equal those of the of darkness and it is a time to mark the changing of the seasons. Each September, another higan is celebrated, this time marking the autumn equinox.
While the origin of Haru no Higan is unknown, it has been celebrated since the 8th century when the Emperor of Japan mandated it’s observation. So how do the Japanese spend Shunbun no hi? Many people head back to their hometowns and spend a portion of the day tending to the graves of their ancestors according to ancient Buddhist tradition. In Buddhism, the term higan means “other shore” and refers to the belief that there is a river between this life and the next.
Travelling is an exciting opportunity which can be enhanced by learning the language before you go. This blog contains some interesting articles about language and travel.