What are Some Holidays Celebrated in Japan?
Japan is a country that boasts of a rich cultural heritage and traditions, and this is particularly evident in the numerous holidays that are celebrated throughout the year. The holidays in Japan are not just an opportunity to relax and unwind, but they also provide a chance for the people to revisit their cultural roots and connect with their history. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the major holidays celebrated in Japan.
New Year’s Day (January 1)
New Year’s Day, or “oshogatsu” in Japanese, is one of the most important and significant holidays in Japan. It is a time when families gather to celebrate, feast, and spend time together. Many people visit shrines and temples to offer prayers and seek blessings for the new year. One of the most popular customs during the New Year celebrations is “hatsumode”, which is the first visit to a shrine or temple in the new year.
Coming of Age Day (Second Monday of January)
Coming of Age Day, or “Seijin no Hi”, is a holiday that celebrates young people who have turned 20 years of age, which is considered the age of adulthood in Japan. On this day, municipalities organize ceremonies and parties, and many young people wear traditional clothes and have their photos taken.
National Foundation Day (February 11)
National Foundation Day, or “Kenkoku Kinen no Hi”, commemorates the founding of Japan and the establishment of the Japanese nation. It is a day when people honor their country’s history and traditions.
Vernal Equinox Day (Around March 20)
Vernal Equinox Day, or “Shunbun no Hi”, is a day that marks the beginning of spring in Japan. It is a time when many people visit the graves of their ancestors and spend time with their families.
Golden Week (April 29 – May 5)
Golden Week is a week-long holiday that comprises several national holidays in Japan. These include Showa Day (April 29), Constitution Memorial Day (May 3), Greenery Day (May 4), and Children’s Day (May 5). During this holiday period, many people take a break from work and travel to different parts of the country or participate in various cultural activities and festivals.
Obon Festival (Around August 15)
The Obon Festival, or “Obon”, is a Buddhist holiday that honors the spirits of ancestors who have passed away. It is a time when families come together to honor their ancestors, offer prayers, and perform traditional dances.
Respect for the Aged Day (Third Monday of September)
Respect for the Aged Day, or “Keiro no Hi”, is a holiday that celebrates and honors elderly people in Japan. Many people visit their grandparents and offer gifts to show their appreciation for their elders.
Culture Day (November 3)
Culture Day, or “Bunka no Hi”, is a holiday that celebrates the Japanese culture and arts. On this day, many museums and cultural institutions offer free admission, and various art exhibitions and performances are held throughout the country.
In conclusion, Japan has a wide variety of holidays that reflect its rich culture and traditions. Whether it is the New Year’s Day, Coming of Age Day, or any other holiday, the Japanese people use these occasions to come together, celebrate, and honor their ancestors, their country, and their values.
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