2015/01/17

What is the difference between "Ohagi" and "Botamochi"?

I read a book I borrowed from the city library for my children last night.

It was a story that an old man dropped "ohagi" at his garden while he was eating and in fact it was a baby of ohagi  then it was raised by the insects which lived there.

They enjoyed the story but they didn't know about "ohagi" so I explained about it for them.

"Ohagi is the Japanese sweet. It is a rice cake covered with red bean paste and we usually eat it while Ohigan."

"What is ohigan?"

My 6-year-old son asked me.

Ohigan is the week during both the Spring and Autumnal Equinox which we visit to our ancestor's grave."

In the story, the baby of ohagi met the "botamochi" family.

Since ohagi looked just like botamochi, they became very friendly and decided to live together.

And the note regarding about ohagi and botamochi was written in the end of the book.

The generally-accepted theory concerning about the difference between ohagi and botamochi is said that ohagi is eaten during the Autumnal Equinox, and botamochi is eaten during the Spring Equinox".

It means ohagi has two names depending on the season.

Botamochi comes from the "Botan" (peony) which blooms in the spring and ohagi comes from the "Hagi" (Japanese bush clover or Lespedeza) which blooms during autumn.

I knew that ohagi and botamochi are the same but I didn't know the meaning of their differences, so I was so impressed.

I like reading children's books and I think that reading them is very valuable not only for my children but also for me.



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