An app screen of 72 Seasons reading "Major Cold."
Courtesy 72 Seasons

This App Tracks the 72 Seasons of the Japanese Lunar Calendar

By Aileen Kwun
February 1, 2020
1 minute read

Most would associate February with the dead of winter—long past the joy of the holiday season, yet far enough from April to make us yearn for the warmth of spring. There are only four seasons to anticipate each year, at least in the Western world, but the ancient Japanese lunar calendar, which follows the waxing and waning of the moon, counts many more: 72, to be exact, as we’ve pleasantly discovered in the recently launched app 72 Seasons. Updated every five days, the average length of each micro-season, the app shares more about this cultural tradition, along with haikus, observations on the natural world, seasonal phrases and activities, and the best ingredients to eat and cook at a given time of year. We’re currently in the micro-season of “Major Cold”—though we didn’t need it to tell us that, brrr!—which is set to continue for the next few days. This is the peak season for red seabream, celery, burdock root, as well as when, with spring on the way, “the chicken begins to lay her eggs.”