What are the Holidays in Japan?

Japan is a culturally rich country that is known for its vibrant traditions and unique customs. It has various national and regional holidays throughout the year, each with its own customs, foods, and activities. In this blog post, we will explore the most significant holidays in Japan.

New Year’s Day (January 1)

Like many other countries, the New Year’s Day is celebrated in Japan throughout the country. It’s the most important holiday in Japan, and it is celebrated with various customs and traditional ceremonies. Many Japanese visit Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples to pray for good luck in the New Year. Toshikoshi soba, which is a type of noodle, is a must-eat dish during this holiday.

Coming-of-age Day (Second Monday of January)

Coming-of-Age Day (Seijin no Hi) is a national holiday in Japan. It is celebrated on the second Monday of January to encourage and congratulate young adults, who are 20 years old according to the Japanese law, to accept their new roles in society. Women usually wear furisode, a type of formal kimono, and men wear suits, to celebrate this holiday.

National Foundation Day (February 11)

National Foundation Day marks the creation of Japan’s first Emperor, Jimmu, in 660 B.C. The holiday is celebrated with parades and speeches, but its importance has diminished with time.

Vernal Equinox Day (Around March 20)

Vernal Equinox Day is a national holiday in Japan that marks the change of seasons. It is a custom for Japanese to visit their family’s graves to tidy them up and to pray for their ancestors’ spirits.

Golden Week (April 29 – May 5)

Golden Week is a collection of consecutive national holidays that take place around the end of April and beginning of May in Japan. It’s a great time for traveling and getting together with family and friends. Children’s Day, which is part of Golden Week, is celebrated with koinobori, flying carp-shaped banners, representing each member of the family.

Respect for the Aged Day (Third Monday of September)

Respect for the Aged Day is a public holiday in Japan dedicated to honoring the elderly. It is a custom for the families to take care of their aging relatives and help them to enjoy their lives.

Culture Day (November 3)

Culture Day is a national holiday in Japan to celebrate and promote the country’s culture, arts, and academic achievements. Japanese people visit cultural sites and museums to learn about their country’s history.

Labor Thanksgiving Day (November 23)

Labor Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in Japan to express gratitude for work and productivity. It’s a time to appreciate the fruits of others’ labor and to contribute our time and energy to our society.

Emperor’s Birthday (December 23)

Emperor’s Birthday is a national holiday in Japan that marks the birth of the reigning Emperor. Japanese people gather to wave their flags, and the Imperial family appears on the balcony of the Imperial Palace to greet the public.

In conclusion, Japan has several fascinating holidays that reflect the country’s unique heritage and traditions throughout the year. Each holiday has its own customs and activities that Japanese and tourists can enjoy. If you get a chance to visit Japan, it’s an excellent opportunity to experience those holidays and deepen your understanding of Japanese culture.

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