Have you seen flyers for “Doyo No Ushi No Hi” (Midsummer Day of the Ox) at supermarkets, restaurants or any other places recently? “Doyo” means the change of the seasons, and there are four “Doyo” with the four seasons. And the summer Doyo in 2018 is from July 20 to August 6. “Ushi” (Ox) is one of the twelve signs of Chinese zodiac. Chinese zodiac is used to indicate the year now. But in the past, it was also used to indicate directions, months, days and hours. The Day of the Ox is based on a 12-day cycle, and the summer Doyo in 2018 corresponds to July 20 and August 1.
The summer Doyo days are very hot and it’s easy to suffer from summer heat fatigue, so there has been a custom to eat energy boosting foods. And it was also said that if you eat foods that start with the letter “u” (for “ushi”), you will be safe from summer heat fatigue. Because of these reasons, people have got used to eating unagi (eel) on the Midsummer Day of the Ox.
I hope this information will be of some help. Thank you for reading this to the end.