Keichitsu

I keep forgetting to thank everyone who bought my calendar.  The money was donated to

https://pollinator.org and http://jbcs.blog.fc2.com.  I hope these groups can protect habitats in the US and Japan.  Yossi matched all of the money so I ended up raising 16,000 yen.  Thank you so much! 

http://www.randomisgod.com/pictures/IMG_3199.JPG  (Thank you image)

Spring has come and I'm late introducing you all to a new holiday I'm advocating.

In East Asia there wasn't any problem of re-appropriating pagan holidays or calendars that didn't quite match up over time, so the original calendars of Japan based on the sun, moon, and stars also designated where holidays fell.  Instead of months, dates were kept by the angle of the sun.  Here's a Chinese image of this calendar:

http://chugokugo-script.net/koyomi/nijuushi-sekki.html

The 12o'clock position is the Spring Equinox, which was like the old beginning of the year.  Likewise, the Fall Equinox lies at the bottom, with the two solstices at the 3 and 9 positions.  Between each of these celestial events lie five more significant days and you can see how they are based on the angle of the sun.  Thus the year was categorized.

Nowadays, we celebrate the Spring Equinox, but that stands for the middle of spring.  The beginning of spring, which used to be the New Year, is around February 5th.  Now we call it Setsubun, and celebrate by opening the doors of the house and sending out the bad vibes and demons (usually Dad with a mask on) and then letting in the good vibes.  (And your Dad.)

So the next special day after the start of spring (0) is Keichitsu (345 deg).  This translates as "The Day the Bugs Come Out of the Earth."  If you know me, then you know it's something I must celebrate.

First, I printed all the information from Wikipedia and shared it with my coworkers, but no one seemed to be really getting in the spirit.  So next I made cookies.

Lots and lots of cookies.

Ladybug cookies with pink icing, cockroach cookies, coffee flavored rolly-polly cookies, one butterfly, one moth, and of course some big cinnamon cookies with the characters for, "Keichitsu" written in chocolate.  Whee!!

So Yossi was coming home tired from a business trip and I set out to surprise him.  I wrote, "Keichitsu" out on some paper with big red letters, I decorated all the cookies, and then I was going to make a ladybug-looking pizza (tomato sauce and olives!).  Finally if I had extra time, I had some black construction paper to cut out some spiders.  But none of this was to be.. Because the next most amazing thing happened...

My butterfly hatched from its crystalis!

Like of all the days!!!

http://www.randomisgod.com/pictures/000Keichitsu.jpg

So I watched my butterfly, Haku-chan, pump up her wings.  They do it at night to avoid predators and it was about 8:00.  Then I went out with a flashlight looking for somewhere butterflies might like to hang out.  Finally I very carefully brought Haku-chan outside and let her hang from a branch.  I think Haku-chan will enjoy all the gardens around here very much.

So then what happened?

Well Yossi came home.  And despite the lack of decorations, he was very, very surprised.  He came home to some big kanji written in red on the door that he couldn't read at all, and assumed something had happened.  Then he ran inside and I hadn't made any dinner so we had instant soup and cookies.

Happy Keichitsu everyone!  Let's celebrate it together next year!

Jennifer

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