National Autumn Equinox Holiday (Shuubun no Hi - Autumnal Equinox Day)
The date varies by year, but usually happens between 22 and 24 in September, it is a holiday that marks the official beginning of autumn when the sun rises exactly to the east and sets exactly to the west on this day, day and night equal in length, 12 hours of day and 12 night hours. At this time of year, in addition to cool weather, Japan offers a dazzling landscape in a mix of yellow and red colors, leaving the station with a completely magical look.
As the temperature drops sharply, the hitherto green leaves become brightly colored. Then they dry and fall, leaving the branches “peeled”. This phenomenon is called kouyou.
The coloring of the leaves is reason for the Japanese to promote excursions, picnics in parks or simply leave home to enjoy the phenomenon. Kouyou can be seen first, as early as September, in northern Japan or high in the mountains and plateaus, those places that begin to cool earlier.
Overall, the beautiful spectacle of nature peaks in October and November. There is a wide variation because the color change depends on the temperature.
The Autumn Equinox was established as a national holiday on 1948. Prior to this, the fall equinox was a day to honor ancestors and remember the dead, to pay tribute to deceased relatives. Some people even visit the graves to remember their ancestors, to show respect for them (to clean graves, to make flower offerings and incense, etc.). It is also common to attend religious services in Buddhist temples or to pray at the altar of the deceased person at home.
National holiday: 22 of September, Autumn Equinox Day.