Friday, September 23, 2011

Official National Holidays in Japan

Official National Holidays: These are the 15 official national holidays in Japan when schools and businesses are closed. The Japanese government purposefully places many of these holidays on Mondays as to give workers a three day weekend.

1. New Year's Day, Ganjitsu (January 1st) One of the most significant days of the year in Japan.

2. Coming-of-Age Day, Seijin no Hi (Second Monday in January) A celebratory day for all those who turned 20 years old, the age of legal adulthood in Japan. Cities hold large ceremonies. Young men wear suits and women wear colorful kimonos with very long sleeve pockets to indicate youth. These same kimonos will be altered and the sleeves shortened after they grow older.

3. National Foundation Day or Founder's Day, Kenkoku Kinen no Hi (February 11th) Celebrates the founding of the nation, similar to America's Independence Day. Actually, it marks the ascension to the throne of the first emperor in 660 B.C.

4. Vernal Equinox Day, Shunbun no Hi (about March 20th) This is a Buddhist day to visit one's family graves and also celebrate the renewal of spring.

5. Showa Day, Showa no Hi (April 29th) A day to reflect on the Showa era of rebuilding after WWII, celebrated on the birthday of the Showa Emperor.

6. Constitution Memorial Day, Kenpo Kinenbi (May 4th) A day for commemorating the Japanese constitution and reaffirming a commitment to peace. The constitution went into effect on May 3rd, 1947 after the end of the war.

7. Greenery Day, Midori no Hi (May 4th) A day to commune with nature. This holiday was previously celebrated on April 29, that day is now Showa no hi.

8. Children's Day or Boy's Day, Kodomo no Hi (May 5th) A day for children. The main activity is the flying of large carp streamers in a hope that children will be strong like carp.

9. Marine Day, Umi no Hi (Third Monday in July) A day to give thanks to the ocean for many gifts. Many people visit the beach on this day.

10. Respect-for-the-Aged Day, Keiro no Hi (Third Monday in September) People remember and show appreciation to grandparents and senior citizens. Cities hold various events for the elderly.

11. Autumnal Equinox Day, Shubun no Hi (about September 23rd) Another Buddhist day when ancestors are remembered.

12. Sports Day, Taiiku no Hi ( Second Monday of October) Commemorates the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It's a day for sports and health and many school sports events are held on this day

13. Culture Day, Bunka no Hi (November 3) A day for celebrating freedom, equality, and culture. Many events with traditional arts or music are held.

14. Thanksgiving (Labor) Day, Kinro Kansha no Hi ( November 23rd) A day for workers.

15. Emperor's Birthday,Tenno Tanjobi (December 23rd) A day to give congratulations to the current Heisei Emperor.

1 comment:

Tokyo Five said...

Your blog is very interesting.
Please visit mine and comment anytime too!
My blog is:

I blog about life in Japan too. I am also an American who immigrated to Japan many years ago (in 1990)...and I also have a Japanese wife and we have three daughters.

Additionally, I also wrote about Japan's national holidays on my "main" website:


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