What is Higanbana Mean? Flower Of The Autumn Equinox & Myths

If you are searching for Higanbana meaning then before that let me tell you its a flower that is important to the people living in Japan. Its a secret flower which has different meaning based on its color and its toxicity. Today i will explain all the questions regarding the meaning and the myths around this flower.

What is the meaning of higanbana?

Higanbana flower (Red Spider Lily, Flower Of The Autumn Equinox) symbolize sad memory, flower of death, the final goodbye, the other shore, the land of the dead and is associated with the concept of rebirth and death in the samsara cycle according to Buddhists. Higanbana was used to protect rice paddies in Japan because it is poisonous to rats and other wild animals, so anyone who eats it dies. Also, the red spider lily symbolizes ancient times when pre-cremation was used to protect the dead, which is why it is placed in graves.

In addition, the word “Higan” in Higanbana has a deep significance; it means “the other shore,” which is the world of the dead. These Spider Lilies are thus seldom seen as cut flowers despite their exquisite beauty due to their relationship with the hereafter.

Higanbana, in a more complex reading, is the blossom that hangs from the higan and represents “the other or that shore of the Sanzu River.” According to the gokuraku idea, it is both ornamental and pleasurable, symbolizing a flower of the afterlife.

Furthermore, Higanbana’s importance goes beyond only its name. It is associated with a Buddhist event when very careful cleaning of graves takes place. This relationship highlights the flower’s significance as a memorial and a contemplative object for life’s transience.

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In the larger framework of Japanese culture, “Higan” also refers to “the far shore,” implying that it is the afterlife. In Japanese culture, near-death experiences sometimes include seeing departed family members, which deepens the flower’s symbolic meaning.

Its emotional meaning relates to a last goodbye, a flower of death, and a sorrowful memory. It serves as both a sobering reminder of life’s fleeting nature and a metaphor for everyone’s ultimate journey to the hereafter.

“Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni” is a manga popular in japan for its story based on different events happened in schools. This manga is also known in english as “The Unforgiving Flowers Blossom in the Dead of Night”. Higanbana name is many times searched due to this serial.

now lets move to discussing various things and why it is called higanbana & not spider lily in japan.

Higanbana meaning

What Does Higanbana Symbolize?

Higanbana flower (Red Spider Lily, Flower Of The Autumn Equinox) symbolize sad memory, flower of death, the final goodbye, the other shore, the land of the dead and is associated with the concept of rebirth and death in the samsara cycle according to Buddhists. Higanbana was used to protect rice paddies in Japan because it is poisonous to rats and other wild animals, so anyone who eats it dies. Also, the red spider lily symbolizes ancient times when pre-cremation was used to protect the dead, which is why it is placed in graves.

Legends believes that flower grows only to place where people part ways.  There are many identifiers in Japanese, but most are ominous names, like flowers of death. There are several reasons for this flower’s scary name. That is the location where this flower is in bloom.

White higanbana meaning symbolize new beginnings, freshness, newness, originality, applauding, appreciative nature and purity. The white higanbana cheerfulness and freshness make it a great present for new beginnings like a new job, relationship, or house. It may also symbolize simple joys and appreciating beauty in ordinary things. The white spider lily’s simplicity may help us calm down, breathe, and enjoy the present .

Higanbana are mourning symbols in several cultures. Its fragile look and pure white tone symbolize life’s fragility and soul purity. White spider lilies are comforting condolence flowers that remind us of life’s beauty.

Also Read : Red Spider Lily Symbolism – Everything You Need to Know

Japan is a region where many legends live alongside its people. These legends are frequently linked to the country’s mysticism and are not limited to specific animals, lifeforms, or even symbolic locations. They may also affect Japan’s flora. What follows is the story of a unique flower that grows near cemeteries and represents death. This red flower has inspired many artists to make Haiku or even Ukiyo-e by exposing its petals and forming passionate flames.

The most common names for the red spider lily are higanbana, red spider lily, or Lycoris Radiata. Another common name is kajibana, which means “fire flower.” Many people associate it with fire because of the pink flowers that look like flames when it blooms, hence the name kajibana.

The fact that this flower has so many ominous names may be due to its color, which is as red as blood, and the locations where one can find it in graveyards.

One interpretation is that the time of red spider lily bloom occurs during the autumnal equinox, which is when the fall season begins, and the exact day is 22 September every year, which is the first day of the autumn season.

Lycoris radiata is the scientific name for the spider lily plant, also known as the red magic lily and Equinox flower. The blooms’ appearance is similar to spiders, which is why they gave this name. They were discovered in Asian countries such as China, Nepal, and Korea and were later populated in the United States, where people loved the different flower colors. It is commonly associated with Buddhist temples, hills, river banks (as it grew near the river), cemeteries,  and rice fields in Japan.

It is a perennial herb that can regrow every year and has natural curls and petals with long stamens, giving it the appearance of a funnel. It has a very long stem that is devoid of leaves. These plants bloom in the early fall and are hardy in zones 7 to 10.

What is Higanbana?

Higanbana is flower called red spider lily, hell flower, and lycoris radiata. There are many identifiers in Japanese, but most are ominous names, like flowers of death. There are several reasons for this flower’s scary name. That is the location where this flower is in bloom.

  •       Buddhist Temple / Shinto Shrine
  •       Grave (Cemetery)
  •       Farm Road / Rice Field
  •       River Bank
  •       Slope (Hill / Moutain)

Something connects the locations where these flowers bloom. And it served a purpose and was purposefully planted.

The emergence of the spider Lilies in mid-September marks the beginning of autumn after a long, hot summer. Tall stalks with stunning 2 or 3 weeks long, but if you occur to be in Japan during that time, it’s worth going out of your way to see some Higanbana Spider Lilies.

This flower is frequently associated with a bad omen in Japan. However, it can also be a good omen in the notion of a red or heavenly flower. It is frequently used to decorate graves and scare rats away from lawns with its highly toxic bulb.

Also Read : Hanakotoba: The Secret Language of Flowers in Japanese Culture

Why is Higanbana called the Japanese flower of death?

The Higanbana flower, also known as the Red Spider Lily or Lycoris radiata, symbolizes a melancholic remembrance, a flower of death, a final goodbye, and is linked to heavenly blooms. Buddhists connect Higanbana (red spider lilies) to the cycle of reincarnation and passing away.

Higanbana(Lycoris Radiata) bulbs are highly poisonous. These are most often used in Japan, where they are used to keep pests and mice away from rice paddies and houses. That is why most of them now grow near rivers. The red spider lily heralds the arrival of autumn  in Japan. Many Buddhists will use it to commemorate the arrival of autumn with a ceremony at the ancestors’ tombs.

They grow them on graves as a tribute to the deceased. People believe that because the red spider lily is associated with death, it should never be given as a bouquet. That is why it is known as the “flower of death.”

If you’re asking because your spider plant isn’t flowering (or producing, er, baby spiders), there could be a few issues:

  • It could simply be that he is too young. I’m not sure how old the plant has to be, but it could take a few years.
  • Some argue it must feel crowded to begin throwing out the runners that bloom and produce little spiders. I mean root bound when I say crowded. I haven’t tested this assumption, but it seems logical.
  • Poor lighting. These are plants that grow in the understory and prefer indirect light. Please don’t put it in the sun.
  • It might just require some food. Consider using a balanced liquid fertiliser. Not too much – follow the instructions.
  •  They prefer consistent moisture. The leaves dry out if they don’t get enough water. If they get too much, they develop “root rot,” which ironically cuts off the plant’s water supply.

In Japan, The equinox flower (Higanbana) is translates to “the flower that blooms during the equinox.” It often symbolizes with farewell, part ways, death, separation and is used to decorate graves. Despite its associated with death, the equinox flower’s brilliant red hue symbolizes passion, love, and rebirth. It is thought that the flower’s vivid hue draws the deceased to their last resting place.

Garden rats are scared away by its deadly bulb. It’s also a positive sign as a crimson bloom or heavenly flower.

The Higanbana flower symbolizes ultimate parting. Higan is a week-long Buddhist celebration held during the spring and autumn equinoxes. It’s when families clean their ancestors’ graves and pray for them. Around this time, the equinox flower is offered to the deceased.

Lycoris radiata, meaning “twilight” and “radiant,” is the scientific name of the equinox flower, which is associated with death. Its name comes from the flower’s  inclination to blossom around nightfall, a period of transformation.

The equinox flower is prominent in Japanese literature, art, and music. Several poets and songwriters have been inspired by its remarkable look.

This flower, however, has many other names, including “the flower with 600 names,” “the flower of the spectres (yuureibana), orphan flower (sugetobana), and the flower of hell (jigokubana), fox flower (kitsunebana), and so on. It is indigenous to China, Korea, and Nepal and was later introduced to Japan. The most widely approved theory is that it was introduced with rice cultivation. Flowering usually occurs in late summer and early autumn.

The Higanbana flower meaning  As a result, it is not appropriate to present to someone you like. The story of Manju and Saka, two Chinese elves, inspires this symbol. One should look after the flower, while the other should look after the leaves. Although they were forbidden from the meeting, they did so. There was then a solid mutual love, which irritated the goddess Amaterasu.

Equinox flower myth

The equinox flower myth associated with blossom abundantly on the way to Hell, leading the dead to rebirth. Amaterasu gave two elves, Mañju and Saka, the flower’s petals and leaves to protect. The petals and leaves fell because the two fell in love and abandoned their duty. Since the equinox flower symbolized life and death, the sun goddess punished the elves, making them the first humans to die and reincarnate.

In Japan, the equinox flower symbolizes farewells. Legend says the flower blooms when people split, representing loss and grief. The flower’s brilliant red hue is said to draw the deceased to their last resting place.

The Chinese and Korean equinox flower symbolizes separation and lost love. The flowers symbolize the agony of unrequited love and blossom where lovers will  never meet.

The equinox flower’s scientific name, Lycoris radiata, implies death. In Chinese mythology, it is the flower that blooms on the river one must cross after death or in Hell.

It is said that that Equinox Flower (red Spider lily) is also referred to as manjusaka. It is based on an ancient Chinese legends about two elves: Saka was the guardian of leaves and Manju was the guardian of flowers. However, they both could never meet, because the plant never blooms flowers and the leaves at the same time. They both were curious and excited to meet each other, so they disobeyed gods to arrange a meeting. The gods abruptly punished them and separated them forever.  To this day, the flower is associated with loss, loss of loved ones and the loss of memories.

People love these flowers for their light and dark associations and the nostalgia surrounding the brilliant blooms. You saw them for the first time after the first autumn rain. The sky was blue, and the sun was shining brightly. These higanbana fire-balls lit the thick, pale green and straw-colored grasses along the riverbank near my house. They resembled a horde of warriors emerging from the underworld. Wiry, noble, lush, and ominous in appearance. Mother Nature strikes summer with a fiery sickle, igniting the ageing ground. The Red Spiders parade through the dreamily wobbling straw.

Another feature of flower petals is that the blossoms and leaves never meet. The blooms appear at the end of a long shaft that protrudes straight from the ground. The leaves appear after the flowers have wilted and the post has rotted. As a result, the plant can never be considered a “complete set” because one part is always missing. It has led to the flower being a symbol of splitting in China and Korea, of lovers who will never meet.

However, whatever sad feelings the higanbana may evoke in some people, they are, first and foremost, gorgeous. Don’t miss the season; get out of the town and enjoy it.

Higanbana meaning in anime

The term “higanbana” in anime refers to the red spider lily flower. It holds ominous symbolism and is often associated with death. The name originates from Japanese and translates to “flower of the autumn equinox.”

Beyond its depiction in anime, the red spider flower has importance. In Japanese culture and religion, this blossom is significant. It has meanings relating to death and is often associated with concepts of the hereafter. Translation of the word “higan,” which also occurs in the name, is “the far shore,” which alludes to the world beyond this one. This makes it a significant emblem in Japanese culture for near-death experiences, often connected to departed loved ones and the afterlife.

In addition, the red spider lily represents the idea of the “other shore” and is in line with Buddhist principles. This idea represents departure and metamorphosis, the change from one life to another. The symbolism of the red spider flower has appeared in a variety of works of art, including literature, music, and cinema, in a larger sense.

Despite having profound cultural meaning and links, anime tends to accentuate the red spider lily’s dark undertones. The flower often appears in anime sequences to provide depth to the narrative by boosting emotions and highlighting crucial moments. It contributes to the overall mood of the anime by acting as a visual theme that viewers can relate to.

History of Higanbana

Higanbana has significant cultural and symbolic meaning in Japan. It is often viewed as a sign of the approaching fall because of its tight ties to the ebb and flow of the seasons. Throughout history, various poets and painters have drawn inspiration from the flower’s vivid red color, which is evocative of the crimson sunset.

Even the name “Higanbana” has a deep significance. The term “Higan” alludes to the Buddhist feast of Higan, which falls on the equinoxes of spring and autumn. These events stand for a period when day and night are equally long and depict the harmony of light and darkness. Higanbana represents the transient aspect of life, the cycles of existence, and the never-ending search for  enlightenment in this way.

The mythology and folklore of Higanbana

Higanbana has appeared in several myths and stories, like many other ancient flowers. In one well-known story, a goddess by the name of Izanami-no-Mikoto died and went to the underworld. Izanagi-no-Mikoto, Izanami’s devastated husband, pursued her and yearned for her return. But he had to go when he saw Izanami’s rotting condition.

Izanagi emerged from the abyss as Higanbana appeared where he had stepped. According to legend, these flowers represent the line between the worlds of the living and the dead, with their colorful petals serving as a link between them.

Higanbana is sometimes linked in Japanese legend to the notorious “Yrei,” or malevolent ghosts of the dead. It’s claimed that these ghosts lure innocent souls into their clutches and punish them using the Red Spider Lily’s seductive beauty. Higanbana has a mystique that persists in capturing the attention of people all throughout Japan because of this unsettling relationship.

The Impact of Higanbana on Literature and Art

Higanbana has played a significant role in the history of Japanese art. Numerous poets, artists, and craftspeople have used the flower’s remarkable look as inspiration for their works, immortalizing its beauty. Higanbana is a flower whose vivid petals have been used as a metaphor of transience and the transient quality of life by many poets, but Haiku writers in particular.

Higanbana has appeared in kimono patterns, traditional paintings, and woodblock prints. Its striking crimson hue stands out visually against a background of lush  vegetation or tranquil scenery. The flower’s fascination has permeated modern Japanese popular culture as well, showing up in manga, anime, and even video games, where it continues to arouse feelings of beauty and mystique.

Higanbana: Planting and Festivities

The cultivation of Higanbana is a well-known tradition in contemporary Japan, where it is highly prized. In order to produce magnificent displays of vivid red flowers, people often plant the bulbs in gardens or along riverbanks. The flower’s blooming period, which normally lasts from late summer to early fall, draws tourists from all over the world to experience its ethereal allure.

Annual celebrations honor the alluring beauty of Higanbana in several parts of Japan. These celebrations honor the flower’s importance in Japanese culture with illuminations, creative displays, and cultural performances. One such noteworthy celebration takes place in the city of Koma, Saitama Prefecture, where hundreds of Higanbana flowers adorn the landscape, converting the region into a beautiful crimson paradise.

Keeping the Higanbana Legacy Alive

Higanbana continues to enchant with its beauty, but the flower now has to contend with contemporary problems. Urbanization and environmental issues have damaged its natural habitats and decreased its wild population. Higanbana is now under conservation and protection measures so that future generations may enjoy its beauty.

[The article/content is first published by Lotusmagus.com website.
Lotusmagus is a website about plants and flowers by Amelia Clark. Copyright Marked]

What does the higanbana flower tattoo mean?

Tattoos are a potent form of self-expression because they provide people a way to visually communicate their ideas, feelings, and life experiences. The Higanbana flower tattoo is a well-liked tattoo style that has significant meaning. This beautiful bloom, which has its roots in Japanese culture, captures the imagination and conveys a deep message. We’ll look at the meaning of the Higanbana flower tattoo and the messages it sends in this post.

The Higanbana flower, also known as the Red Spider Lily or Lycoris radiata, is symbolic of a number of ideas, including painful recollections, the last farewell, and the passage between life and death. This vivid crimson bloom, which is often connected with funerals, supposedly grows along roads where people leave ways forever. In Japanese legend, it is also said to be the flower that directs the spirits of the dead as they go through the afterlife, signifying the end of a significant chapter.

Famous for their depiction of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, Japanese flower tattoos are a popular choice for body art. The repeating bloom of the Higanbana flower serves as a moving reminder of life’s fleeting nature and the certainty of change. It captures the essence of daily life, demonstrating the transience of moments and the constant ebb and flow of experiences.

The Higanbana flower tattoo may also represent a careless mindset. Because of its striking look and associations with separation and death, it may represent either a rebellious attitude or a courageous way of living. People may want to express with this tattoo their will to live life to the fullest, fearful of the unknown, or their fortitude in the face of misfortune.

The Higanbana flower’s association with rebirth is yet another unique feature of the tattoo. The frequent blossoming of these beautiful flowers next to cemeteries only serves to emphasize their connection to the impermanence of life and the cycle of life. As a somber reminder that life is a continual journey where endings give rise to new beginnings, the higanbana flower takes on new meaning.

The Higanbana flower is known in Japanese culture as “the other side of the Sanzu River.” Folklore in Japan holds that for the dead to reach their last resting place, they must cross this river. The Higanbana flower represents the passage from one world to the next and acts as a bridge between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Although the Higanbana flower has great importance, other flowers also have significant meanings in Japanese tattoo art. The crimson camellia, for instance, represents both love in a more general sense and a heroic death among soldiers and samurai. Red camellias are a delicate flower, and not everyone will find them appropriate as a gift, therefore it is best to use care while giving them.

[ Copright Notice: The content is first published in lotusmagus.com website, if you are seeing this article in other website then it has been copied fully. ]


Wrap Up

I hope you get the answer on “higanbana meaning” and if you like to read more such article check below.

Are Spider Lilies Poisonous? Everything You Need to Know

Spider Lily Flower in Anime: A Hidden Meaning

Black Spider Lily Meaning: Unveiling the Shadows of Mysteries

Sakura Flower Meaning – In Japan, Symbolism And Importance 

Amaranth Flower Meaning and Symbolism (Amaranthus)

Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark, a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Social Profile: LinkedIn  YouTube  Pinterest Facebook