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Let's Learn Hiragana 
with Japanese Culture


Higan are Buddhist memorial services. They occur twice a year for periods of seven days; three days before and after Vernal and Autumn Equinoxes (shuubun no hi and shunbun no hi). The word "higan" means "the other shore." In Buddhism it refers to nirvana. During higan, people visit family graves (ohaka-mairi) to comfort the spirits of ancestors. People usually call it "o-higan," with the prefix "o"  to make it sound polite. 

Higan is the time of seasonal change. There is a saying "Atsusa samusa mo higan made." It means neither heat nor cold lasts beyond the equinox.

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