Sekihan is a type of sticky red rice served in Japan on special occasions as a traditional Japanese dish.
The rice is boiled together with red "azuki" beans (the same russet-colored beans used to make the red paste found in Japanese sweets) that give it a pinkish color and slightly sweet taste.
Sekihan is often served on special occasions throughout the year such as birthdays, weddings and some holidays, such as Shichi-Go-San. In some places it is customarily made when a young woman reaches menarche (their first Menstruation period), often without telling the male members of the household what was being celebrated.
- The rice of ancient Japan had a naturally reddish color. The only trouble is that the rice was highly tannic and therefore not so easy on the tongue. This is why modern white glutinous rice has replaced it. Sekihan is a modern, sweeter-tasting representation of this ancient ceremonial rice.
- Sekihan is so strongly connected with celebration that the phrase "Let's have sekihan" has acquired the meaning "Let's celebrate.".