Japanese National Holidays

Japanese National Holidays

Its been nearly 5 months since I landed in Japan and in that time I have met some wonderful people, experienced a different culture, spent too much lol and there’s still so much more I want to accomplish.

I am still working on my Japanese with my co-workers as well as helping them with their English. I have settled in at work which is helping me to interact with others. I have met other Gaijins (foreigners) some that are only here for a few months as a tourist or student and some that now live? in Japan on a work visa.

I am looking forward to my mums visit in November and show her around Tokyo. We have one day trip planned so far and that is to Hakone.

During the year, people all over the world have small 3 day holidays or bank holidays that are part of a bigger holiday such as Easter or Christmas and It is the same in Japan. The Japanese have various different national holidays which celebrates parts of their culture and heritage. They celebrate all ages; for instance the Japanese are legally adults at 20 years old and is celebrated on the 14th January. This is for those who have already turned 20 2nd April the previous year and those who will turn 20 before 1st April in the current year.

There are celebrations, speeches and presents. Generally, women wear a Furisode, a special kimono that have long sleeves that hang down and Zori sandals. As the garment is hard to put on, many people go to a beauty salon where they get help dressing as well as getting their hair done. These are often borrowed or rented as they are expensive. Men will also wear a dark kimono with Hakama (trousers) however men have recently been wear a suit and tie.
Once the ceremony, they then go out to parties and go drinking.

They also celebrate the sea with Marine Day which is usually the 3rd Monday in July as well as Mountain Day which was the 11/12th August 2019. The Japanese celebrate these parts of their country as they have helped them to grow and thrive.

I find these to be unique as we don’t celebrate these sort of things in the west and I think we should. For example, Monday 16th September 2019 was Respect for the Aged Day. This honours their elders as in honours families look after their elderly relatives especially as people are living longer now.

The Japanese also have different ways of celebrating Christmas and New Years. Christmas in Japan is generally spent with friends and couples spend time together and New Years is spent with family. They also go to Shrines and do a big clean and sort out to start the New Year clean.

Holidays and Observances in Japan in 2019
Date Name Type

1 Jan Tuesday New Year’s Day
National holiday
2 Jan Wednesday January 2 Bank Holiday
Bank holiday
3 Jan Thursday January 3 Bank Holiday
Bank holiday
14 Jan Monday Coming of Age Day
National holiday

11 Feb Monday National Foundation Day
National holiday
14 Feb Thursday Valentine’s Day
Observance

3 Mar Sunday Dolls’ Festival/Girls’ Festival
Observance
21 Mar Thursday March Equinox
Season
21 Mar Thursday Spring Equinox
National holiday

29 Apr Monday Shōwa Day
National holiday
30 Apr Tuesday Coronation Day holiday
National holiday

1 May Wednesday Coronation Day
National holiday
2 May Thursday Coronation Day holiday
National holiday
3 May Friday Constitution Memorial Day
National holiday
4 May Saturday Greenery Day
National holiday
5 May Sunday Children’s Day
National holiday
6 May Monday Children’s Day observed
National holiday

22 Jun Saturday June Solstice
Season

7 Jul Sunday Star Festival
Observance
15 Jul Monday Sea Day
National holiday

6 Aug Tuesday Hiroshima Memorial Day
Observance
9 Aug Friday Nagasaki Memorial Day
Observance
11 Aug Sunday Mountain Day
National holiday
12 Aug Monday Mountain Day observed
National holiday

16 Sep Monday Respect for the Aged Day
National holiday
23 Sep Monday September Equinox
Season
23 Sep Monday Autumn Equinox
National holiday

14 Oct Monday Health and Sports Day
National holiday
22 Oct Tuesday Enthronement Ceremony Day
National holiday

3 Nov Sunday Culture Day
National holiday
4 Nov Monday Culture Day observed
National holiday
15 Nov Friday 7-5-3 Day
Observance
23 Nov Saturday Labor Thanksgiving Day
National holiday

22 Dec Sunday December Solstice
Season
25 Dec Wednesday Christmas
Observance
31 Dec Tuesday December 31 Bank Holiday
Bank holiday

These are the dates for this year so will differ slightly each year or may change to a different day due to the Tokyo Olympics.

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