Wednesday, 22 August 2007
Higan-bana, called hurricane lily or tiger lily (1*) in English, is a beautiful red flower (2*) which in Japan blooms in Autumn. "Bana" means flower. "Higan" literally means the "world beyond", and it is the name given to a festival time dedicated to paying respects to our ancestors. It happens twice a year, in Spring and again in Autumn; it is around the latter time when Higan-bana are supposed to open their petals.
Having such a name and also being a fataly poisonous plant, it is associated with death and bad omen in Japan.
You might hear elderly people say that Higan- bana are actualy the deceased reincarnated into the form of flowers. So it is sinful to pick them.
Another might say that if you pick and take a Higan-bana home, it will bring fire on the house; possibly because its bright red colour is associated with fire.
Higan-bana are also sometimes called shibito-bana (deadman's flower), jigoku-bana (hell flower), yurei- bana(ghost flower), kamisori-bana (razor flower) or kitsune-bana (fox flower).
The meanings attatched to Higan-bana are: "sad memories"; "you are the only one I love"; "Let us look forward to seeing each other again."
1* Genus: Lycoris radiata
2* In some rare instances, white flowers
All pictures are borrowed from wikipedia and the rights belong to them