Hello, let’s go to the table !
Today is January 7 – jinjitsu 人日and seven plants day is celebrated:
Nanakusa no Sekku 七草 の 節句
Today Japanese eat rice porridge nanakusa gayu 七 草 粥 from freshly harvested plants. Early in the morning we went to the bamboo forest to search these plants. But what kind of plants ?
Below I wrote a traditional Japanese names and English translation:
- Seri – water dropworts
- Nazuna – shepherd’s-purse
- Gogyo – cudweed
- Hakobera – chickweed
- Hotokenoza – nipplewort
- Suzuna – turnips
- Suzushiro – radish
Probably you ask yourselves why these plants, if by combining them together, they make a magic potion (no? so evidently I was playing too many crpg games ..)
The answer to this question is hard to find. Masako didn’t know and she began to look for the answer – without the result. She said that it’s a very good question, because these plants are not easy to find. So I believe that the choice of choosing these plants was probably accidental. I managed to get to the information (ah, I love wikipedia !), which indicates that tradition of Nanakusa no sekku dates back to the Heian period when owners of a stores were delivering “lucky herbs” to the Emperor. And we just went back again to the start, how did they select those lucky herbs? I assume that they were just the most popular at that time, or those herbs were favorite emperor’s herbs.
Anyway, today we eat herbal-rice porridge which should bring us health and longevity. There is another reason why we eat it. To cleanse the body after a full of food and alcohol celebration of the New Year!