Nanakusa no sekku – Seven Herbs Festival in Japan – January 7th

Photo of Nanakusa

Nanakusa no sekku (七草の節句) is the Seven Herbs Festival that takes place on January 7th in Japan. It’s customary to eat Nanakusa Gayu, a rice gruel with 7 herbs (nanakusa) for longevity and health.

The custom dates back as far as the 9th century and has its roots in ancient Chinese traditions. Eating Nanakusa Gayu on the 7th is supposed to give people good health in the upcoming year.

The Nanakusa Gayu is made with rice, water, salt, seven herbs and sometimes eggs. The seven herbs can vary. The most common ones are:

Seri (dropwart/evening primrose family)
Nazuna (shephard’s purse/mustard family)
Gogyou (cottonweed)
Hakobe (chickweed)
Suzuna (turnip)
Suzushiro (Japanese radish)
Hotokenoz (cotton sow thistle/mint family)

Here’s a Recipe for Nanakusa Gayu

Many thanks to Ramona in Tokyo for pointing out this tradition to me.

Wishing you all good health throughout the year!


Photo: Wikipedia

This article was posted on Sunday, January 8th, 2006 at 9:49 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Holidays Around the World, Japan, Japanese, Nanakusa Gayu, Nanakusa nu sekku - Seven Herbs Festival, Recipe Links, Recipes of the World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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