cumberfoil said: I was told that Japanese think this flower is creepy because it’s a grave flower.

Yup, it blooms during Ohigan, the Buddhist celebration that takes place on Autumn Equinox Day. According to tradition, you should return to your hometown on these days, clean family graves and pay respects to your ancestors.

The flower has many names, including …

  • It’s known as shibitobana (死人花), flower of the dead, because it blooms while you visit your ancestors’ graves.
  • It’s called yūreibana (幽霊花), because the flower looks like a ghost.
  • The most common name is higanbana (彼岸花), flower of the autumn equinox.

Creepy flower of death? Yes, but it’s a very pretty death, methinks. :)

PS: You might know all of this. I’m sharing extra information for anybody who might be interested. :)

彼岸花。Higanbana(Red spider lily ).

今日は秋分の日。It’s a national holiday today:Autumnal Equinox Day.

彼岸の中日です。A seven-day period surrounding the Vernal Equinox Day or Autumnal Equinox Day is called Higan.

彼岸花が見頃を迎えています。Since it blooms around Higan period in autumn, this flower is called Higan-bana(Higan-flower) in Japanese, and is also called Manjushage.

妖しく不気味な印象を受ける花だけれど、別名である曼珠沙華はサンスクリット語で“天上に咲く花”という意味なんだって。The name “Manjushage” means “the flower blooming in heaven" in Sanskrit.

先代犬のおにいちゃん帰ってきているかなぁ。During the Higan period,It is said that the ancestors come back from beyond the grave to meet relatives.