O Shunbun no Hi - 春分 の 日 (Spring Equinox Day) is a Japanese national holiday celebrated on the 20 or 21 day of March. Equinox is a phenomenon that occurs twice a year, one at the beginning of spring (Spring Equinox Day) and another at the beginning of autumn (Autumn Equinox Day). On this day, the sun makes its east-west path right over the equator, making the duration of the day the same as that of the night.
This national holiday was created in 1948 to mark the beginning of the new season and the end of winter. It is also the day destined to praise nature, the blossoming of flowers and valuing animals. It also serves as a warning that the Hanami, Sakura Festival (Cherry Blossoms) is nearby.
The holiday does not always occur on the same date. It varies between 20 or 21, depending on whether the year is leap year. The spring equinox actually consists of three days before and after, forming a seven-day period, called Higan, which means "other side" and also means the transition from one season to another.
The days become longer after the holiday, at that time, a plethora of cherry blossoms (sakura) bloom in virtually the entire Japanese archipelago, attracting a large number of people, including thousands of foreign tourists, who visit the archipelago especially for enjoy the flowering that happens only once every year.
National holiday: March 20, Shunbun no Hi (Spring Equinox Day).