The third 節気 “sekki” division of the traditional Japanese calendar is:
‘awakening of insects’ (solar term)
The second”kō” microseason within this division is:
“momo hajimete saku”
First peach blossoms
That makes 桃始笑 the eighth microseason of the year.
It typically lasts 11~15 March. So it began yesterday!
This is #8 in a regular subseries of 365 Days of Japanese, where every five or six days I post about a Japanese microseason that has begun around the same date as the entry. I am taking all information from the list of 72 in this article. There is also a 36 microseason list here, which may be more authentic (rather than being based primarily on Chinese sources).
Image credit: An excellent article on gethiroshima.com here. Check it out – there are many other lovely photos 🙂