Today was officially the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere - in other words the shortest day of the year. Here in Japan there are two main traditions that you are supposed to indulge in on this day and for once we did both!
The first is to eat pumpkin.... why - because it helps to prevent you catching a cold (my husband eats it every year on this day, but had to look up why he does to explain it to me... I guess that says something about these customs!).
The second thing to do on this day is to take a bath with some "yuzu" or Chinese lemons. Apparently their aroma warms up your body and like the pumpkin prevents you from catching a cold.
As I said, we did both this year, but as my husband just concluded if the effect of these things is so good at preventing colds then we should probably do it before the shortest day and all through the winter as well.... but tradition is tradition!