National Holidays in March

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Thu. 21 Mar. – Shunbun no Hi (春分の日)

Shunbun no Hi, or Vernal Equinox Day, is an annual holiday observed on the vernal equinox (when the hours of daylight and darkness are of equal length), usually March 20 or 21.

From 1873, the holiday was observed as Shunki Kōreisai (春季皇霊祭), or ‘Spring Veneration of the Imperial Ancestors,’ also held on the vernal equinox, until 1948, when it became Vernal Equinox Day, a day to ‘praise nature and show affection for living things.’

The vernal equinox is also the mid-point of a seven day period known as O-Higan (お彼岸), a time to give thanks to one’s ancestors, during which many Japanese Buddhists visit their ancestor’s graves and present offerings.


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