A hokku by Chinshi:
The snail moves round
To the underside of the leaf;
If you reach back in your memory to previous postings about the Hokku Calendar — the Hokku Year — you may recall that the actual effect of an astronomical event such as Midsummer’s Day (the Summer Solstice) is felt about a month later than the event itself.
We look on Midsummer’s Day as the time when the Yang energies reach their maximum and then begin to decline according to the position of the sun; but because the actual effect is not felt until a month later, we do not immediately experience the manifestation of that event in our lives.
All of this is leading up to reminding you that July 22nd is nearing. That is about a month after Midsummer’s Day, and what it means for us is that the Yang energy of summer — “fire” energy –will manifest at its highest point.
Because of this, it is traditionally believed that people should not exert themselves too much at that time, should not go on trips, and should not go outdoors in the middle of the day. It has to do with the effects of this “extreme Yang” energy on the body.
This time even has its own name in the old Chinese and Japanese calendars: it is called “Great Heat,” and it takes place approximately July 22-24th.
Of course that means we are closer to the traditional end of summer and the very old holiday of “Harvest Home” — Lammas, also called Lugnasadh (LOO-nuh-suh), which is usually celebrated on or close to August 1st.