Wata-no-hanashibe-hiraku: One of the 72 Climates of the Year
Shosho, the season of bearable hot weather, is when summer is coming to end. One of the 72 climates of the year Wata-no-hanashibe-hiraku, meaning “when the cotton calyx is opening”, is starting on the 23rd.
That is when the cotton ball pops open for harvesting. The cotton plant produces beautiful flowers between July and August.
Then it bears fruit, which pops to show white fluffy cotton balls. Although it is commonly called “menka” (literally “cotton flower”), the cotton ball is actually not a flower but a ball of fiber that gently wraps seeds. Once loosened, the cotton is spun into a thread.