These Are the Things That Mean “Spring” to Japanese People
It's more than just a season.
When it comes to the spring season, it can mean different things to the Japanese. Here are five things that come to mind when we take a deeper look.
Most of the time, it refers to the months that cover the season, which is from March to May.
On March 3, Japanese people celebrate “Hinamatsuri,” a tradition where parents with young daughters display a Hina Ningyo doll at home to pray for their health and happiness.
On May 5, Japanese people celebrate “Kodomo no Hi” or Children’s Day. Compared to the Hinamatsuri, this day is for young boys and parents display Satsuki Ningyo doll and Koinobori at home.
In Japan, the school year starts in April and ends in March. At the beginning of April, Japanese schools hold an opening ceremony, then a graduation ceremony at the end of March.
After the school year ends, kids have a short spring break. From the end of April to the beginning of May, there is a long holiday called Golden Week. During this time, locals enjoy traveling around Japan while others take this chance to travel abroad because of the good climate.
Cycles and themes
Spring is the season of farewell and meeting new people because aside from the school year, the business year also follows the same rule. It is the time of starting a new daily life. It is also the time when many people move to new houses. That’s why it is difficult to find apartments with vacant rooms and it is the busiest time for moving companies.
In Tokyo, sakura blooms fully almost the same time as the graduation ceremony. It depends on each year’s climate and geography, so it might be delayed in April. Locals tend to link these two images together. They find a fragile beauty in sakura not only in its pink color. Sakura blooms only about a week or so while it waits for putting forth buds the rest of the time as well as how the petals fall as if dancing down. Locals enjoy the spring time by doing picnic, specially called “Hanami”. If you want to know where to go and what to prepare, click the link.
After all the excitement gradually vanishes at the beginning of May, it is said that many people feel tired or less motivated. People call such symptom “Gogatsubyo,” meaning the May sickness, sometimes in an ironical way.
(8 April 2019)