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!