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Sometimes we can say "Japanese spring starts from the beginning of spring (Feb 4th) to the beginning of summer (May 6th) by the lunar calendar", but usually Japanese spring is from March to May by Japanese custom. Spring is the beginning season for Japanese that was an agricultural country, and the beginning season after long and cold winter. In additionally, Japanese enter their school and start working after graduated from their school in April.
In spring, Japanese farmers start to do rice-planting at theirrice field filled with water. Some tadpoles swimming at rice field are one of the scenes in Japanese spring.
Japanese sprig is brought by the flowering of Japanese plum blossom and the song of Japanese bush warbler. The song of Japanese bush warbler is loved by Japanese from long time ago. When you climb any mountain at the beginning of spring, you would be able to enjoy their songs.
Cherry blossoms are the second plants to tell us that spring is coming after Japanese plum blossom. And it makes us hope for some expectations of new life at the term when we enter our school in April. So please try to have a 'Hanami', which is the main and biggest event in spring.
Japan that was an former agricultural country in former time, the beginning of spring was very important, therefore most all of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples and some of family have 'Setsubun' to cleanse any evil influences at February 4th. At Setsubun, we throw a lot of roast soybeans to Oni, which are Japanese evils, to turn them out from our houses. The time, we say "Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi" to Oni during turning them out. That means is "Out with the demon and in with fortune!" After that, there are a lot of roast soybeans in the house. We pray for the safety and health in the year with eating soybeans whose number is same as our age. If you spend your time with your host family or your Japanese friends, please make any chances to enjoy the event.
The Japanese words means "Cherry blossom viewing". Japanese love cherry blossom well. Actually, we can find a lot of cherry trees everywhere, for example some parks and castles and banks. The Hanami is the biggest outside party to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms with some food and alcohols. So you can see a lot of street stall at the places have a lot of cherry trees, the foods are special for festivals. This is the reason, some of Japanese just eat and drink, and forget to enjoy cherry blossoms. The most important manner is keeping clean the places. We need to go back with trashes or throw garbage away.
This event is Girl's Festival, we pray her good future and growth with Hina-Ningyo, which are special dolls displayed at the Hina-Matsuri, and some furniture for the dolls and some special foods and sweet white sake. If you study in some Japanese language school, you would enjoy the event, maybe.
This is the Boy's Festival in Japan. We pray his good future and growth with some armors and the doll in full armor, and Koi-Nobori that is a carp streamer. At this day, we usually eat Chimaki that is a rice cake wrapped in bamboo leaves.
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