Japanese traditional sweets are often related and tied to the specific customs or holidays.
‘Ohagi’ is the one for the event called ‘Higan’ which is celebrated upon the spring and autumn equinox.
Ohagi is otherwise called ‘Botamochi’ in some regions.
Some people say that the one made in spring time is called Botamochi and the one made in autumn shall be called Ohagi, though both are actually identical.
It is said that the distinction of the names came from the names of flowers characterise each season.
It’s made from sticky rice which is half-way pounded after steamed. Then the rice is rolled into an oval shape of the size almost of a small kid’s fist then all over covered with Anko sweet bean paste.
There are some variation of Ohagis
You can have Ohagi of smooth or half-pounded 'textured Anko'.
There is also one covered with 'Kinako' -- roasted soy bean powder which offers a gentle taste and flavour, besides it gives a shade of Khaki among the Ohagis on the plate.
If you prefer the taste to be potent, you shall try the Ohagi of grounded sesame powder.
They are black and white which is also appealing among all the Ohagi colour variations.
All types of Ohagi have a character and all of them are nice.
On both Higan dates in spring and autumn, my mom makes a number of Juubako-box-full of Ohagis of all sorts to share with people. Each of them is so wonderful that I won't be tired of eating them all day.
There is an idiom regarding Ohagi / Botamochi that's commonly used.
When a good fortune fell into your lap, it is described as ‘a Botamochi dropped from the shelf’!
This phrase can be abbreviated to ‘Tana-Bota’; Tana means a shelf and Bota stands for Botamochi.