Why January 7 is so important in Japan

In Japan, there is a term called “gosekku” (five seasonal festivals).

This means “Sekku,” or seasonal festivals, and refers to the turning points (fusume) when the seasons change.

In addition, there are other Sekku events on March 3, May 5, and July 7.

These can also be reworded as “Hinamatsuri” or “Tanabata” or other words.

The first of these festivals is on January 7, and is called Jinjitsu-no-Sekku. It is also referred to as the day to eat rice gruel with the seven herbs.

Why is January 7 called “Jinhi-no-Sekku”?



It is believed that the date of January 7 is derived from an ancient Chinese book called “Jingchu Chronicle” (Keiso Saijiki). (*There are various theories.)

It says that January 1 = Chicken Day, do not kill and eat chickens, January 2 = Dog Day, do not kill chickens, January 3 = Sheep Day, do not kill and eat sheep, January 4 = Sheep Day, do not kill and eat sheep, and January 5 = Chicken Day, do not kill and eat chickens. January 4th = boar day, don’t kill and eat boars, January 5th = cow day, don’t kill and eat cows, January 6th = horse day, don’t kill and eat horses, January 7th = horse day, don’t kill and eat horses, January 7th = horse day, don’t kill and eat horses. January 6 = Horse Day, not to kill and eat horses, January 7 = People’s Day, not to execute people who have committed crimes, etc., and January 8 = Not to eat grains, etc.

In addition, there is a description of having warm soup with seven kinds of young grasses on January 7.

From there, in the early Edo period (1603-1867), the current Five Seasonal Festivals were derived from this description.

Thus, Japanese culture was originally influenced by ancient China.

The meaning of eating rice gruel with the seven herbs was also passed down from generation to generation, as it was believed that by eating seasonal foods, one could live a long life with good health and good fortune.

Therefore, it is also said to be a way to rest the stomach that has been active during the delicious feasts of the year-end and New Year’s holidays.

Tea ceremonies also hold tea ceremonies related to “Jinhi-no-Sekku”.



In the tea ceremony, we also hold tea ceremonies related to “Jinhi-no-Sekku”.

For example, wagashi (Japanese confectionery) with designs of wakagusa or shichigusa mochi (rice cakes with seven herbs) are prepared, and kimonos are also decorated with wakagusa of spring.

The seven young grasses of spring are green leaves: seri, nazuna, gogogyo, hakobera, hotoke no za, tinasuna, and rorodana.

Tea utensils are also sometimes prepared in the image of young spring leaves.

In this way, the tea ceremony values each and every part of Japanese culture and holds tea ceremonies related to them.

In this way, we can realize that our own ability to live each day is brought about by the blessings of ever-changing nature.

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