Thursday, March 21, 2019

Shubun No Hi

Well, it's March 21st and it is Shubun No Hi here in Japan. What is Shubun No Hi? This is from the Internet.
Shubun No Hi is the holiday celebrating the spring equinox in Japan. It is part of a seven day period known as Haru no Higan. 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. To celebrate this many Japanese head back to their hometowns and spend a portion of the day by tending to the graves of their ancestors according to the 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. 
"This river is full of illusion, passion and sorrow, and only by crossing to the other shore can one gain enlightenment and enter Nirvana. It is said that when night and day are equal the Buddha appears on earth to save the stray souls and help them make hte crossing."
To help their ancestors make the crossing, family members visit the grave to pray, weed and wash tombstones. Food is left to help nourish their ancestors journey to the next world. 

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