What is “Shunbunnohi”?
Shunbun is when the sun reaches the vernal equinox, and it’s the day when day and night are of equal length. It is usually around March 21st, and is designated a national holiday in Japan.
It falls during the week of “higan” in Japan, which means “the next world for Buddhists”.
Since this is believed to be when the spirits of ancestors return to this world, people visit their family graves, clean them, offer flowers and burn incense.
On the vernal equinox day there is a custom of eating “Botamochi”.
“Botamochi” is a rice dumpling covered with red bean paste
Have you ever eaten it? Why do not you touch on the custom of the vernal equinox day on this occasion?
There is symbolism behind using red beans in Botamochi. It is said that the vermillion of “azuki” drives away an evil spirit, which means that by eating “Botamochi”, it eliminates the disaster that comes down on the family and prays for their health.