The Meaning Behind 4 of Japan’s National Holidays

  • Just like any other country in the world, Japan has many holidays and festivities that are celebrated each year. These are the best times for tourists to visit the country so they are sure to enjoy and learn more about the rich Japanese culture and tradition. These holidays are spent with enthusiasm and joy by the Japanese people to commemorate their history and national heritage. These special occasions are celebrated by Japanese people each year to have bonding moments with their loved ones and to honor those people who made their history a real memorable and remarkable one.

    Here is a list of the holidays that are celebrated in the last quarter of the year:

    Health and Sports Day

    holidays sports day

    This holiday is popular in Japan and is celebrated every second Monday in October in each year. This holiday commemorates the opening of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Sports day is meant to promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Schools, businesses, and towns hold special Sports Day festivals (a bit like a mini Olympic Games) and also include non-Olympic events like three-legged races, or tug-of-war. At these events, students (or in the case of non-school events, everyone participating) show camaraderie in a very healthy competition. This is a great opportunity to promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone, especially the younger generations. This also promotes healthy competition and the unity of a team. This celebration instills good values that everyone should attain – good health and teamwork.

    Culture Day

    Culture Day (Bunka no Hi in Japanese) is celebrated every third of November of each year, but if it falls on a weekend, it will be celebrated on the following Monday. There is what they call an Order of Culture Awards Ceremony that is held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to give awards and recognition to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Japanese culture or to the society as a whole. This holiday also commemorates the Japanese constitution that was announced on the same day in 1946. This day also promotes cooperation from everyone to continue striving to make Japan a great country.

    Labor Thanksgiving Day

    This special holiday is celebrated every 23rd of November each year to show gratitude for everyone for the work they’ve done. It is otherwise known as Kinro Kansha no Hi in Japanese. This holiday was instituted after World Ward II to honor changes to the constitution regarding human rights and workers’ rights.

    Emperor’s Birthday

    This wonderful holiday is celebrated every 23rd of December, the current emperor’s birthday. There is a public ceremony that takes place at the Imperial Palace, where the gates of the palace are opened to the public so they can wave flags to greet the emperor on his balcony together with the other members of the royal family. This is a happy event for everyone as they get to see the royal family closer and are permitted inside the palace grounds. Those who go to the palace are greeted by the emperor and wave back to him and his family, usually holding small Japanese flags.

    Should you choose to learn more about these mentioned holidays, you are sure to learn about Japan’s culture and tradition.

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