March 20, 2013


Today is Shunbun no Hi, or Vernal Equinox Day, and it's a national holiday in Japan.  Shunbun no Hi is the chuu-nichi (middle day) of the Spring O-Higan. In Japan, we have two O-Higan in a year, in the spring and in the fall, and each O-Higan is one week long (three days before the chuu-nichi and three days after the chuu-nichi, thus, seven days in total). People hold a memorial service for their ancestors in each O-Higan. Shuubun no Hi, or Autumnal Equinox Day, is the chuu-nichi of the Autumn O-Higan.

We have botamochi in the Spring O-Higan, and ohagi in the Autumn O-Higan.
Here are some some botamochi, given to us by my wife's brother.  He said they were entirely made by his father.

It should be noted that botamochi and ohagi are almost identical, but depending on the region, they may be different.
The word botamochi comes from botan, and the word ohagi comes from hagi.


Note:  Today, I checked four supermarket flyers and was surprised to find that they all used the word ohagi, not botamochi. Does the word ohagi sound better???
注: 今日、スーパーのチラシを4枚調べたのですが、すべて、「ぼたもち」ではなく、「おはぎ」という言葉を使っていました。おはぎの方が良く聞こえるのでしょうか???

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