Mondrian painting of red amaryllisToday is the last holiday of this year’s Silver Week, the autumnal equinox, which is called in Japanese Shubun-no-hi. Three days before and after the equinox is the time the Japanese call higan, which can be translated as “the other side of the river of death”. At this time, people pray for the repose of their dead ancestors and make visits to the family grave where they place small offerings. A popular offering is a rice dumpling covered in red bean paste (of course), called ohagi. Also around this time, when autumn begins, red amaryllis begin to bloom, and the Japanese call them higanbana – equinox flower.