[Japanese language] お彼岸Ohigan

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.

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