Did you know?: Higan, 3 days before and after spring and autumn equinox

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

Higan is a seven-day Buddhist memorial service held three days before, after and on the spring and autumn equinox (Mar. 21 and Sep. 23) to honor loved ones who have died. Many mainland Japanese visit family tombs to offer prayers for deceased friends and family during the period. On Okinawa, families traditionally gather at their ancestral tombs for the Shiimii Festival, which occurs every year during the third lunar month in early April.

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