In Japan, people honor their ancestors during "Ohigan".
Ohigan means the Shunbun in March and Shūbun in September and its former three days and latter three days for a total seven days.
During the Ohigan, people have the custom of eating botamochi.
Because red bean is one of the materials to prepare botamochi, and people believe that red, the color of red bean, can prevent disaster striking them, so the botamochi has a magic or witchcraft effect.
Botamochi is just a kind of food eaten during Ohigan, which is almost exactly the same as ohagi.
Such two kinds of food look like each other, but why have different names?
Generally speaking, the "botamochi" is eaten in spring, while the "ohagi" is eaten in autumn. The critical difference is the "red bean filling" wrapped in rice ball outside!
It is the harvest time of red beans during the Ohigan of autumn (Shūbun), the freshly harvested red beans are very soft, so the red bean filling made with such beans has peel.
Then during the Ohigan of spring (shunbun), the peel of the overwintering beans have become very hard, so such beans can be peeled off to make sweetened bean paste.
Just introduced to you this type of wagashi in spring and autumn, in fact, they have different names in summer and winter.
In summer, it is called "yofune"
In winter, it is called "kitamado"
Because people can eat botamochi all the year round, these two names are gradually neglected.
If you come to Japan, be sure to taste it!
It is really wonderful to eat botamochi and ohagi while feeling the spring and autumn!
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