Sekihan is a dish made with sweet rice and azuki beans (nutritious bean with a sweet flavor). The azuki bean gives the rice a delicate pink color. This dish has a sticky texture and is a central dish for many traditional celebrations but is delicious any time.
History of Sekihan:
As a traditional dish sekihan is served at birthdays, weddings, and many holidays. Sekihan is also considered very nutritious due to its incorporation of the azuki bean. This bean is rich in many vitamins, is high in protein, and also contains relatively high levels of iron. Sekihans iron content may be the source of another tradition where the dish is served at the menarche (first menstrual period) of a young woman. The azuki bean is also what gives the dish its reddish color. This red color is perhaps a reason sekihan is served at so many celebrations as red is symbolic of happiness in Japanese culture.