Facts of Japan - Most interesting holidays

The holidays in Japan start with the New Year’s Day (Shōgatsu) on January 1. This is a National Holiday and it was established in the year 1948 itself. This New Year day actually marks the starting of Japan’s important holiday season. But, generally, most of the places are closed from Dec 29th to January 3rd.

The Coming of Age Day (Seijin no hi) falls on second Monday of January. This holiday was also declared and established in 1948. This holiday is for encouraging people who reached the age of 20. This is also known as the majority age and lot of ceremonies are held for these newly grown-ups.

Adult day ceremony, girls usually dress up in Kimono, drink with friends and go to the Disneyland.
Adult day ceremony, girls usually dress up in Kimono, drink with friends and go to the Disneyland.

The National Foundation day is celebrated on February 11 and it was in 1966, this holiday was established. This day is for reflecting the creation of the Nation and showing the love for the country. It is known as Kigen-setsu in Japan. This holiday commemorates the day on which Emperor Jimmu, around 660 BCE, acceded the throne.

The Vernal Equinox Day is happening around March 20th. It was again established in 1948 only. This holiday is for admiring the nature and for loving the living things. Before 1948, this day was called Shunki Korei-sai and was an Imperial ancestor worshipping festival day.

The Showa Day comes in April 29 and was established in 2007 only. This day is purely for reflecting those events of the Showa period. It was the birthday of Emperor Showa and was celebrated during the Emperor’s lifetime.

Then comes the Constitutional Memorial day (Kenpō Kinen-bi) on May 3rd of every year which was also established in 1948 only to commemorate the day on which the Post war constitution of Japan took place. This day falls during the Golden week (Gooruden Wiiku or a more respectable, Ougon shuukan).

Koinobori - Special colored pennants in the shape of carp. The largest carp, usually black, representing father, a smaller, red, mother, another carp in the colors of purple, blue, green, represent more children in the family.
Koinobori - Special colored pennants in the shape of carp. The largest carp, usually black, representing father, a smaller, red, mother, another carp in the colors of purple, blue, green, represent more children in the family.

Greenery Day (Midori no hi) is on May 4th and it is declared as a holiday in order to celebrate the nature and to be grateful for the Nature’s blessings as well. The day was established originally in 1989. It was celebrated annually on April 29 but in the year 2007, this day was moved to may 4th. This day also falls during the Golden week again.

The Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi) is being celebrated on May 5th. Established in 1948, this day was aimed at esteeming the personalities of Children and to pray and plan for their happiness. On this day only the Japanese Dragon Boat Festival is conducted. And the families with a boy also fly Koi streamers.

Marine day (Umi no Hi) comes on a Third Monday of the Month July. Established quite recently in 1995, this day is meant for showing the gratitude for the oceans and to get the blessings from the ocean as well. And the prosperity of the Maritime Nation, Japan, is prayed for. Originally it was celebrated on July 20 but later it was changed to this day. That is the third Monday of July.

Marine Day - big fish tank Ginza shopping district,Tokyo.
Marine Day - big fish tank Ginza shopping district,Tokyo.

The Respect for the Aged Day (Keirō no hi) comes on Third Monday of September. The day got established in 1966. This is to respect the elderly people and to celebrate the longer life. The day also was originally celebrated on September 15 and later it was changed.

Autumnal Equinox day (Shūbun no Hi) is celebrated around September 23rd. It was established in 1948 and was meant to honor the ancestors and to remember the dead people.

The Health and Sports day (Taiiku no hi) is celebrated on Second Monday of October. It was established in 1966. This day is to enjoy the greatest sports and to cultivate the healthier Body and mind.

Culture day (Bunka no hi) comes on November 3rd. Established in 1968, it actually commemorates the 1946 announcement of Constitution.

Labor Thanksgiving Day (Kinrō kansha no hi) falls on November 23rd. This day is for celebrating the Labor and the production and giving the other ‘thanks’.

The Emperor’s Birthday (Tennō tanjōbi) falls on December 23rd. This day in 1933, Emperor Akihito was born.

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