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"Holiday Heaven: A Guide to Japan's Festive Calendar"

Surely, Japan is known for its numerous holidays and festivals. This is especially true for students with longer breaks such as Spring, Summer, and Winter.

In Japan, public holidays are known as 祝日-Shukujitsu. These days are also called "red" days because they are printed in red ink on the calendar, just like Sundays. Japanese law recognizes a total of 16 public holidays in a year. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the next Monday will be considered a compensatory holiday.

Let's review the holidays that take place in Japan throughout the year.


1.ー元日: "Day 1 Tet" On January 1st, many companies take a break from December 30 to January 4

Akemashite omedoto gozaimasu!

2.ー成人の日: "The Coming of Age Day" a holiday for young people turning 20 years old, is now celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of January instead of January 15.



3.ー建国記念の日: "Independence Day" On February 11, the Emperor of Japan had his first coronation based on the solar calendar, as stated in the book "Japan Chronicle".


4.ー春分の日: "Equinox day" Around March 20th.21st, people celebrate a holiday dedicated to nature and all living things.

5.ー昭和の日: "Showa Day" April 29th. This day was made a holiday to preserve the green color of plants after Emperor Shōha's death. It is now known as Showa Day.


6.ー憲法記念日: "Constitution Memorial Day" May 3rd is celebrated as the anniversary of the establishment of the Japanese constitution in 1947.


7.ーみどりの日: "Green Day" May 4th. This is not a special holiday because it falls between two other holidays, so it is also considered a holiday. Additionally, "Green Day" was moved from April 29 to May 4.


8.ーこどもの日: "Children's Day" May 5th (which is different from our country's June 1st) is a holiday dedicated to praying for the health and happiness of children. This day is also known as the "Doan Ngo" holiday, which is specifically reserved for boys. It is customary to fly the carp flag on this day to celebrate the occasion.


9. ー海の日: "Marine Day" is a public holiday celebrated in Japan on the third Monday in July. The holiday is observed to express gratitude for the ocean's blessings and recognize the ocean's crucial role in Japan's culture and economy as a maritime nation.

10. 敬老の日: "Respect for the Aged Day" What started as a local custom in a village in Hyogo Prefecture, Respect for the Aged Day (Keiro no Hi, 敬老の日) later became a nationwide celebration dedicated to our elders and their countless contributions to society.

Originally called ‘Old Folks Day’, it became a national holiday in 1966 and it occurs on the third Monday of every September. This year it takes place on 18th September.

11. スポーツの: "Sports Day" Previously known as "Health and Sports Day (体育の日)", it was renamed to "Sports Day" in 2020. In the past, this holiday was set on the second Monday of October, but in 2020, it was moved as a special exception to July 24th.


12. 文化の日: "Cultural Day" 3rd November. A day to promote the prosperity and development of traditional culture and the love of freedom and peace. On this day, schools and the Japanese government select and reward those who have outstanding achievements.

13. 勤労感謝の日: "Labor Thanksgiving Day" November 23. It is a holiday to elevate the value of labor and give thanks for a bountiful harvest. This holiday is usually celebrated at the end of the harvest season, when people donate newly harvested goods to show their respect for the spirits. This day is equivalent to the Western holiday of Thanksgiving.

14. ゴールデンウィーク: "Golden Week" The Japanese are too busy with work, so leisure time is extremely important to them. Perhaps in a year, in May, they have the longest holiday, so they call it "Golden Week". It is a week of praying for the country's peace and prosperity. We have a more detailed article about the "Golden Week" in our blog.


15. お盆: "Obon week" also known as Vu Lan Festival (or Forgiveness of the Dead Festival on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month every year in Vietnam), takes place from the 13th to the 15th day of the 7th lunar month (August in the Gregorian calendar). Many people combine Obon and summer vacation to have continuous time off. This is also a Buddhist holiday, with great significance to the Japanese people, as they pray for peace and tranquility in life during the holiday.

Above are some common holidays in Japan, hope you have gained more interesting information about Japanese culture.


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