Starting next week, Japan will have a long vacation called “Golden Week” – a Japanese term applied to the period with the following public holidays: April 29 (Greenery day/Showa Day), May 3 (Constitution Memorial Day), May 4 (People’s holiday) and May 5 (Children’s day).
It the longest vacation period of the year for many Japanese companies so that means for someone who works closely with the Japan office, I will be left with nothing much to do. Me thinks, I should have a break when there’s no office there.
List of holidays in Japan in one year:
1. January 1st– Ganjitsu or New Year’s Day
This day is considered by most Japanese to be one of the most important annual festivals and has been celebrated for centuries with its own unique customs.
Most companies are closed from December 29th to January 3rd.
2. 2nd Monday of January– Seijin no hi or Coming of Age day
This holiday was established in 1948 to congratulate and encourage people who have reached the age of maturity (20). Cities and towns throughout the nation hold ceremonies for the 20-year olds.
(photo) 20 year olds dressed in their colorful Coming of Age day kimonos.
Prefectures with long winters and experience heavy snow in January hold their Coming of Age Day sometime in March or April.
3. February 11th– Kenkoku kinen no hi – National Foundation day
A day to reflect on the establishment of the nation and to nourish a love for the country. From 1872 to 1948, February 11 was known as Kigensetsu, a holiday commemorating the on which, Emperor Jimmu is said to have acceded the throne in 660 BC.
4. March 20th– Shunbun no hi or Vernal equinox day
Established in 1948 as a day for the admiration of nature and the love of living things.
5. April 29th – Showa no hi or Sh?wa day
This national holiday was established in 2007 as a day to reflect on the events of the Showa period. As the birthday of the Showa Emperor, April 29 was originally celebrated as a holiday during his lifetime. After the death of the emperor in 1989, the date continued to be a holiday under the new name “Greenery Day”.
In 2007, Greenery Day was moved to May 4, and April 29 took the name “Showa Day” in honor of the late Emperor
6. May 3rd– Kenpo kinenbi or Constitution Memorial day
This national holiday was established in 1948 to commemorate the day on which Japan’s post-war constitution took effect.
7. May 4th– Midori no hi or Greenery day
This national holiday is celebrated as a day to commune with nature and be grateful for its blessings.
8. May 5th– Kodomo no hi or Children’s day
Established in 1948, this is regarded as a day on which to esteem the personalities of children and plan for their happiness. On this day, families who have a boy in their home may fly koi streamers and decorate their home with armor or samurai dolls.
9. Third Monday of July– Umi no hi or Ocean day
Celebrated as a day of gratitude for the blessings of the oceans and hoping for the prosperity of the maritime nation that is Japan.
10. 3rd Monday of September – Keiro no hi or Respect for the aged day
This national holiday was established in 1966 as a day to respect the elderly and celebrate long life.
11. September 3rd– Shubun no hi or Autumnal equinox day
Established in 1948 as a day in which to honor one’s ancestors and remember the dead.
12. 2nd Monday of October– Taiku no hi or Health & Sports day
This national holiday was established in 1966 as a day on which to enjoy sports and cultivate a healthy mind and body. Originally held on October 10th to commemorate the anniversary of the opening ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
13. November 3rd– Bunka no hi or Culture day
This national holiday was established in 1948. It commemorates the November 3, 1946 announcement of the Constitution. It is recognized as a day to celebrate peace and freedom and promote culture.
14. November 23rd– Kinro kansha no hi or Labor Thanksgiving day
This national holiday was established in 1948 as an occasion for praising labor, celebrating production and giving one another thanks. Prior to the establishment of this holiday, November 23rd was celebrated as an imperial harvest festival.
15. December 23rd– Tenno no tanjoubi or Emperor’s birthday
The reigning Emperor Akihito was born on this day in 1933.
Totally unrelated, but this is also our house empress’ Pristine’s birthday.
Do you see a pattern? There is at least one public holiday every month except in June. When I was working there, I’d look forward to it everyday and what’s great is that when a holiday falls on a Saturday, they’ll move it on Friday and if it falls on a Sunday, the next day, Monday, will be a non-working day – to make it a long weekend so that overworked Japs can take a rest.
Information taken from Wikipedia.