2017 March 17 – 2017 March 23 was お彼岸Ohigan in Japan. It is a day to respect one’s ancestors and commemorate their death.
Ohigan means equinoctial week, a seven-day period surrounding the autumnal equinox.
Japan has an unique custom to visit one’s ancestors’ graves (sometimes temples) during this period.
Visiting graves are called お墓参りOhaka Mairi
お墓Ohaka = grave
参りMairi = visiting
It is said that custom of Ohigan has existed since the 9th century.
We eat おはぎOhagi or ぼたもちBotamochi(a sweet made with a sticky rice ball covered by red bean paste) in the middle of Ohigan.