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Higanbana (Red spider lily) - Japanese pattern meaning

Despite the English name, this flower is generally red but can also be found in white or yellow. In Japanese it translates as “ Flower of the Autumn equinox”.




Higan” in fact is the Autumn equinox and “Hana” (here “Bana”) means flower. Higanbana usually blooms around the 23rd of September, the Equinox.


On this day it`s national holiday in Japan and people visit the family graves. Higanbana can be often seen near graveyards but for another reason.


The bulbs are poisonous so they keep mice and other hole-digging animals away. That’s why they are planted next to graves, but also rivers and rice fields.


Only after the flowers have bloomed and died the leaves of the plant appear. Because flowers and leaves never meet they are a symbol of two separated lovers and final goodbyes.


A saying goes that if you bring a red spider lily at home, the house will catch fire. So, although it’s beautiful, it is not a recommend flower to give to someone as gift!



Consult the complete list of Japanese patterns HERE


Top picture credit: IG @hinokimio



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