Shokibarai is celebrated in companies in Japan to beat the heat.
In summer, when it is so hot outside, it is really hard to focus on work. Shokibarai is ment to fight against this feeling by drinking and celebrating together with comrades.
Actually, it is one more occasion to bring colleagues nearer together.
Shokibarai is no new tradition. It is celebrated since the Edo period, when special food and drinks were consumed to cool down the body.
This traditional food were the leaves of loquat and peach.
There still remains a short poem from the Edo period: 「枇杷と桃 葉ばかりながら 暑気払い」- Only the leaves of loquat and peach are paying off the heat.
Shokibarai literally means “paying off the heat”.