LOVING THE FOUR SEASONS: AUTUMN

Autumn, the season of bright colours and lovely insects in contrast to the dead of summer, temperature drops as the land prepares for winter. Just before the dread of the cold, autumn starts with a pleasant weather.

Autumn displays fiery hues across a huge variety of plants and trees, such as  bright red maple and golden yellow gingko. Colors mix and unfold to create lively scenes from the season’s rich palette, each unique. Mountains turn blazing red, orange and yellow. Before the start of autumn, a post- summer showers can be experienced after which the temperature’s drop. The bright scenes from summer slowly change into autumn hues and thus bringing change in the lifestyle of people.

Chrysanthemum, Spider Lily, And Cosmos: Cosmos is the sign of start of autumn. A very pretty sight to see as these delicate, bright flowers slowly sway in the wind. Do try to attend an ikebana exhibition nearby to see the portrayal of seasons through seasonal flowers.

Note: Red spider lilies, though very beautiful to look at, have a bad superstition in Japan, relating to death. So if you happen to see them on the road side, make sure to m=not to take one home!

Architecture: All the washi papered doors Shoji doors will be opened in the morning to let sunlight in and then changed to dark tiled Engawa to insulate the houses for heat. Traditional Japanese houses have partitions which can be used to widen the room or closed. Closed rooms require less energy to heat up the living space.

·Food:   The arrival of autumn is a celebration for. it is Japan’s traditional season of food and dining. The fall harvest is the best time to enjoy an abundant selection of Japanese ingredients at their finest.

·         Oden – Soul warming food, a definite must eat food in autumn

·         Seasonal Sake - Hiyaoroshi and Akiagari: Sake can be drunk cold and warmed, and warm amasake (non-alcoholic) and seasonal warm sake is a good way to warm your body.

·         Shinmai - New Rice: Rice is harvested twice, from April-May to August-October and new rice brought direct from the fields has a taste of its own, it’s said to be softer and sweeter. This can be experienced better when lived in rural part of Japan.

·         Fruits: Pear, Chestnuts, Persimmons, Kaki – Persimmon are the season’s favorites

·         Sweet potato, Pumpkin and Mushrooms! IF you’ve ever wondered how many types of Fungi varieties exists, you will in Japan during autumn. The variety is immense and each have their specific use.

·         Sweets: Like spring, all traditional sweets, Wagashi, are made with autumn inspired colours and fruits. It’s as pretty sight to see as well as taste.

Autumn Festival: The changing colors and temperate make fall an ideal time for traditional festivals and events. Regardless of your location, you're sure to encounter numerous local festivities to welcome autumn. Mikoshi processions happen within neighborhoods and some of them compete to win the best procession. Some famous festivals are Nagasaki Kunchi festival, Nagasaki and Jidai matsuri, Kyoto.

Sporting events: Marathons and sports frequently happen in autumn, schools have their annual sports day, where families go to see their chikdren participate and have lunch after the event ( like a small picnic) and this happens in all schools across Japan. For marathon enthusiasts, Ekiden is the biggest, longest relay marathon, for students, which spans over 2 days, a must to spectate.

Lastly, visit around your neighbourhood and notice the same streets look different from summer to autumn, listen to suzumushi (an insect which sounds like a bell) and have a moon viewing party. The Japanese say that the moon looks the brightest and the prettiest in Autumn, find out if its true for you.

 

Next up, WINTER!

India

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