We’re beginning to hear the footsteps of spring as it starts to get warmer and warmer.

The genuine arrival of spring, Vernal Equinox Day. From this day onward, the length of the days begin to get longer.
Vernal Equinox Day is one of Japan’s national holidays.
The meaning behind this national holiday is “to give praise to nature and care for all living things”.
Spring is the season when all hibernating plants and animals wake up from their long slumber and feel the birth of a new life.
Because of this, Vernal Equinox Day is known as a day where you can enjoy the arrival of spring whilst taking in the importance of nature and all living things.

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It is apparently popular for families to spend the day visiting the graves of passed loved ones and eating ‘bota mochi’ – a type of rice cake wrapped in red azuki bean paste.
It is said that the reason for eating bota mochi on Vernal Equinox Day is because the red azuki beans used to make the red bean paste are considered to have the effect of an amulet, to ward off evil spirits.
Since ancient times, the colour red has been thought to have the power to ward off evil spirits, and eating it will help to dispel ill will and protect oneself from disaster.

Other foods enjoyed on Vernal Equinox Day include butterbur sprout, horsetail (the plant) and canola flowers. We definitely recommend that you try them and get a taste for spring!

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Vernal Equinox Day is on March 20th this year.
I wonder what other kinds of spring there are in other parts of the world.
The warm spring breeze, cosy and pleasant spring sunshine, the beautiful aroma of the flowers, trees that have just started to sprout, etc.
Look for signs of the transition from winter to spring and enjoy this beautiful season!