Enjoy Japanese Winter Solstice with Enchigo Koshihikari Beer and Pumpkin Croquettes!

13 Dec 2018

Tradition to eat pumpkins on winter solstice

December 22 is winter solstice in Northern Hemisphere marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. In Japan, it is celebrated by taking yuzu bath which is said to prevent cold and flu; and eating pumpkin. The Japanese believe that yuzu has a warming effect on the body and helps improve blood circulation, relieve skin conditions and eliminate toxins. It is said that if you take a yuzu bath on the solstice you won’t catch a cold all winter.

Eating food which ends with ‘n’ on winter solstice was thought to bring luck. Therefore, people ate food such as “ninjin (carrot)”, “renkon (lotus root)”, “ginnan (ginkgo nut)” and “kanten (agar)”. The common name to call pumpkin in Japanese is “kabocha” but also called as “nankin” so it is also recognized as bringing good luck.

Pumpkins were considered to be the best winter food which contain plenty of vitamins to make your body more resistant to viruses. The harvest of autumn vegetables was mostly finished by winter solstice in Japan in the old days, and there were little vegetables to eat. Therefore, in order to stay healthy throughout the winter, Japanese believed pumpkins to be very valuable as winter food since they can be preserved for a long time and high in nutrients.

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Echigo Koshihikari Beer is a great match to pumpkins!


Echigo Koshihikari Beer is the flagship brand of Echigo Brewery. It is a rice style lager with 5% alcohol. While the malt ingredient is imported from Europe, the rice is harvested literally from the backyard of Echigo Brewery. Though this beer is categorized as being dry, the brewery uses the time-consuming German decoction method to bring out the natural sweet flavor from the Niigata grown Koshihikari rice, which can appeal even to those who do not like dry beer.


Light beers are best known for their pale-yellow color and refreshing taste. This style of beer is also one of the most versatile, pairing well with a variety of dishes. Light lagers are among the palest type of beer, and they are well known for their crisp and refreshing taste.


Light-tasting beer complements light tasting food so we recommend trying pumpkin croquettes. These pumpkin croquettes crispy on the outside and naturally sweet and savory on the inside.


We invite to join this Japanese tradition to eat pumpkin while drinking Echigo Koshihikari beer during winter solstice. We hope it will bring luck to you!

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