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Autumn in Paris

Leaf peeping is an informal term in the United States for the activity in which people travel to view and photograph the fall foliage in areas where leaves change colors in autumn, particularly in northern New England and the upper Midwest.[1][2] The origin of the term "leaf peeping" is unclear, although its first known reference was in dialogue between Connecticut-born John A. McNulty IV and friends.

A similar custom in Japan is called momijigari.

Fall foliage peak times in the United States

United StatesEdit

The term "leaf peeper" is used both with appreciation (for those businesses that benefit from the millions that pour into New England each fall) and with disdain (from those who have to use the roads that are popular with leaf peepers).[3] Hobbyists who get together for leaf peeping commonly refer to their gatherings as leaf peepshows.[4]

"Leaf peeping" is considered a fall activity throughout the United States and Canada.

Peaks of the Franconia Range of the White Mountains as viewed from Loon Mountain resort after an October snowfall, looking to the north

In popular cultureEdit

The term "leaf peeping" has been used in numerous television shows, including "And It's Surely To Their Credit," an episode of The West Wing which originally aired on November 1, 2000 and "Live Free or Die," an episode of "The Sopranos" which originally aired on April 16, 2006. In "Lethal Weapons", an episode of Family Guy, obnoxious New York tourists visiting Rhode Island to see fall leaves are pejoratively referred to as "leafers".


Momiji at Ryōan-ji in Kyoto

Momijigari (紅葉狩), from the Japanese momiji (紅葉), "red leaves" or "maple tree" and kari (狩り), "hunting", is the Japanese tradition of going to visit scenic areas where leaves have turned red in the autumn. It is also called kōyō (紅葉).[5] Kōyō is another pronunciation of the characters for "momiji" which means "fall colors" or "leaves changing colors".[6] It is also called kanpūkai (観楓会) in Hokkaidō,[7] which means "getting together to view the leaves".[8]

Many Japanese people take part in this, with the cities of Nikkō and Kyoto being particularly famous destinations. The tradition is said to have originated in the Heian era as a cultured pursuit, and is the reason why many deciduous trees can be found in the Kyoto area.[citation needed]

There is also a tradition of going to see areas where grasses change colour, such as on the Oze plain.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


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