What is Nanakusa Gayu
Nanakusa Gayu is a traditional Japanese rice porridge that is traditionally eaten on January 7th as part of the Nanakusa no sekku festival. The festival, also known as “The Festival of the Seven Grasses,” is a traditional holiday that celebrates the arrival of spring and the return of the sun.
The Nanakusa Gayu rice porridge is made with seven different types of wild grasses that are believed to have medicinal properties. The grasses are cooked with rice to create a simple, nutritious porridge that is said to bring good health and luck in the coming year. The porridge is typically served with pickled vegetables and other side dishes, and it is often accompanied by sake or other types of alcohol.
In addition to the Nanakusa Gayu rice porridge, the Nanakusa no sekku festival also includes a number of other traditional rituals and activities, such as the hanging of bamboo and pine branches in the home to ward off evil spirits and the display of dolls and other decorations. The festival is an important cultural tradition in Japan, and it is celebrated by people of all ages.
History of Nanakusa no sekku festival
The seventh of the first month has been an important Japanese festival since ancient times. Jingchu Suishiji, written in the Six Dynasties China, recorded the Southern Chinese custom of eating a hot soup that contains seven vegetables to bring longevity and health and ward off evil on the 7th day of the first month of the Chinese calendar. Since there is little green at that time of the year, the young green herbs bring color to the table, and eating them suits the spirit of the New Year. The custom was present in Taiwan until the mid-Qing Dynasty and is still present in parts of rural Guangdong province.