The traditional Japanese calendar marks the passing of the seasons and changes in the natural world through the names given to different times of year. There are 24 major divisions from the Beginning of Spring in early February until Greater Cold.

The 24 divisions are each split into three for a total of 72 microseasons that last just five days each. In their present form, they offer a poetic journey through the Japanese year in which the land awakens and blooms with life and activity before returning to slumber.

Beginning of Spring
February 4–8 East wind melts the ice
February 9–13 Bush warblers start singing in the mountains
February 14–18 Fish emerge from the ice
February 19–23 Rain moistens the soil
February 24–28 Mist starts to linger
March 1–5 Grass sprouts, trees bud
Insects Awaken
March 6-10 Hibernating insects surface
March 11-15 First peach blossoms
March 16-20 Caterpillars become butterflies
Spring Equinox
March 21-25 Sparrows start to nest
March 26-30 First cherry blossoms
March 31-April 1 Distant thunder
Pure and Clear
April 5-9 Swallows return
April 10-14 Wild geese fly north
April 15-19 First rainbows
Grain Rains
April 20-24 First reeds sprout
April 25-29 Last frost, rice seedlings grow
April 30-May 4 Peonies bloom
Beginning of Summer
May 5-9 Frogs start singing
May 10-14 Worms surface
May 15-20 Bamboo shoots sprout
Lesser Ripening
May 21-25 Silkworms start feasting on mulberry leaves
May 26-30 Safflowers bloom
May 31-June 5 Wheat ripens and is harvested
Grain Beards and Seeds
June 6-10 Praying mantises hatch
June 11-15 Rotten grass becomes fireflies
June 16-20 Plums turn yellow
Summer Solstice
June 21-26 Self-heal withers
June 27-July 1 Irises bloom
July 2-6 Crow-dipper sprouts
Lesser Heat
July 7-11 Warm winds blow
July 12-16 First lotus blossoms
July 17-22 Hawks learn to fly
Greater Heat
July 23-28 Paulownia trees produce seeds
July 29-August 2 Earth is damp, air is humid
August 3-7 Great rains sometimes fall
Beginning of Autumn
August 8-12 Cool winds blow
August 13-17 Evening cicadas sing
August 18-22 Thick fog descends
Manageable Heat
August 23-27 Cotton flowers bloom
August 28-September 1 Heat starts to die down
September 2-72 Rice ripens
White Dew
September 8-12 Dew glistens white on grass
September 13-17 Wagtails sing
September 18-22 Swallows leave
Autumn Equinox
September 23-27 Thunder ceases
September 28-October 2 Insects hole up underground
October 3-7 Farmers drain fields
Cold Dew
October 8-12 Wild geese return
October 13-17 Chrysanthemums bloom
October 18-22 Crickets chirp around the door
Frost Falls
October 23-27 First frost
October 28-November 1 Light rains sometimes fall
November 2-6 Maple leaves and ivy turn yellow
Beginning of Winter
November 7-11 Camellias bloom
November 12-16 Land starts to freeze
November 17-21 Daffodils bloom
Lesser Snow
November 22-26 Rainbows hide
November 27-December 1 North wind blows the leaves from the trees
December 2-6 Tachibana citrus tree leaves start to turn yellow
Greater Snow
December 7-11 Cold sets in, winter begins
December 12-16 Bears start hibernating in their dens
December 17-21 Salmon gather and swim upstream
Winter Solstice
December 22-26 Self-heal sprouts
December 27-31 Deer shed antlers
January 1-4 Wheat sprouts under snow
Lesser Cold
January 5-9 Parsley flourishes
January 10-14 Springs thaw
January 15-19 Pheasants start to call
Greater Cold
January 20-24 Butterburs bud
January 25-29 Ice thickens on streams
January 30-February 3 Hens start laying eggs