From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the multi-system emulator, see higan (emulator). For the fictional video game protagonist, see Far East of Eden Zero.

Higan (お彼岸?) is a Buddhist holiday exclusively celebrated in Japan during both the Spring and Autumnal Equinox. It is observed by nearly every Buddhist sect in Japan. The tradition extends from mild weather that occurs during the time of equinoxes, though the origin of the holiday dates from Emperor Shōmu in the 8th century.[1] People who normally worked in the fields had more leisure time to evaluate their own practices, and to make a renewed effort to follow Buddhism. Today, special services are usually observed in Japanese Buddhist temples, and Japanese temples abroad, based on the particular Buddhist tradition or sect.


The etymology of Ohigan is from "the other shore of the Sanzu River", which separates this life from the afterlife in Japanese Buddhist tradition.

Ancestral veneration[edit]

Similar to Obon, Japanese people will often return to their hometowns during the holiday season to pay respects to their ancestors. Ohigan is a public holiday, thus many businesses are closed.


See also[edit]