Koharu Biyori

Koharu Biyori

Warm Autumn Days

From late autumn to early winter, the weather begins to  get  colder  by  the  day,  but  occasionally,  there  are warm, balmy days when a moving high-pressure system sets  in  or  when  the  typical  winter  weather  pattern weakens.  Days  such  as  these  are  called  koharu-biyori (literally, “small spring days”). Koharu is another name for  October  according  to  the  lunar  calendar,  and corresponds  to  around  November  by  today’s  calendar. Therefore,  warms  spell  during  the  period  from  around October  to  November  are  called  koharu  days,  or koharu-biyori.

This  expression  is  not  necessarily  used  throughout Japan,  however.  In  Okinawa,  temperatures  sometimes reach over 25 C and bring summer days even during the October-November autumn season, so days such as these are called konatsu-biyori (literally, “small summer days”).

Interestingly,  warm  autumn  days  are  also  expressed using the word summer in many foreign countries. For example, they are called “Indian summer” in the United States, “old ladies summer” in Germany, “Saint Martin’s summer”  in  France,  and  “ladies summer”  in  Russia.  In Europe,  it  seems  summer  is  a  more  favored  season compared  to  spring,  because  spring  is  short  due  to  the high latitudes of most countries.

The  season  that  brings  koharu-biyori  corresponds  to the  height  of  autumn  foliage,  and  is  the  perfect  season for outings.