Today is Pear Day!
No, I didn’t mistype “pay day.”
Today really is “Pear Day” or 梨の日 in Japan.
You may ask “why today?” since pears won’t be in season until fall.
OK, today is July 4 (oh, happy birthday America!), or 7月4日(shichi-gatsu yokka) in Japanese. Some of you may already get the idea, but July 4 was designated Pear Day purely because of 語呂合わせ(goro awase) or word play. As many of you already know, there are a few ways to read numbers in the Japanese language. Number 7 can be “shichi” or “nana” and 4 can be “yon” or “shi.” Since pear in Japanese is 梨(なし) or “nashi,” July 4 (7-4 or “na” “shi”) is the perfect day to celebrate 梨の日(nashi no hi).
Another such “語呂合わせ-Day” is coming up soon, and that is 納豆の日(natto no hi) on July 10. Natto, of course, is the fermented soybeans Mito City, the capitol of Ibaraki is famous for. March 10 is “Mito Day” by the way, and Mito celebrates that by holding various events, natto eating contest being one of such events.