In Japan, there are some 15 national holidays when Japanese get a day off. But, in addition to these, there are quite a few other seasonal festivals and celebrations, each and every with its personal special set of decorations, customs, and meals. There are a number of various systems to mark these festivals and several of them come from the astrological calendar of ancient China.
Official National Holidays:These are the 15 official national holidays in Japan when schools and enterprises are closed. The Japanese government purposefully areas several of these holidays on Mondays as to give workers a 3 day weekend.
- New Year’s Day, Ganjitsu (January 1st) A single of the most considerable days of the year in Japan.
- Coming-of-Age Day, Seijin no Hi (Second Monday in January) A celebratory day for all these who turned 20 years old, the age of legal adulthood in Japan. Cities hold significant ceremonies. Young males put on suits and ladies put on colorful kimonos with incredibly lengthy sleeve pockets to indicate youth. These similar kimonos will be altered and the sleeves shortened soon after they develop older.
- National Foundation Dayor Founder’s Day, Kenkoku Kinen no Hi (February 11th) Celebrates the founding of the nation, related to America’s Independence Day. Essentially, it marks the ascension to the throne of the initially emperor in 660 B.C.
- Vernal Equinox Day, Shunbun no Hi (about March 20th) This is a Buddhist day to check out one’s household graves and also celebrate the renewal of spring.
- Showa Day, Showa no Hi (April 29th) A day to reflect on the Showa era of rebuilding soon after WWII, celebrated on the birthday of the Showa Emperor.
- Constitution Memorial Day, Kenpo Kinenbi (Might 4th) A day for commemorating the Japanese constitution and reaffirming a commitment to peace. The constitution went into impact on Might 3rd, 1947 soon after the finish of the war.
- Greenery Day, Midori no Hi (Might 4th) A day to commune with nature. This vacation was previously celebrated on April 29, that day is now Showa no hi.
- Children’s Dayor Boy’s Day, Kodomo no Hi (Might 5th) A day for kids. The principal activity is the flying of significant carp streamers in a hope that kids will be robust like carp.
- Marine Day, Umi no Hi (Third Monday in July) A day to give thanks to the ocean for several gifts. A lot of persons check out the beach on this day.
- Respect-for-the-Aged Day, Keiro no Hi (Third Monday in September) Folks don’t forget and show appreciation to grandparents and senior citizens. Cities hold numerous events for the elderly.
- Autumnal Equinox Day, Shubun no Hi (about September 23rd) An additional Buddhist day when ancestors are remembered.
- Sports Day, Taiiku no Hi ( Second Monday of October) Commemorates the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It is a day for sports and wellness and several college sports events are held on this day
- Culture Day, Bunka no Hi (November three) A day for celebrating freedom, equality, and culture. A lot of events with classic arts or music are held.
- Thanksgiving (Labor) Day, Kinro Kansha no Hi ( November 23rd) A day for workers.
- Emperor’s Birthday,Tenno Tanjobi (December 23rd) A day to give congratulations to the existing Heisei Emperor.
These national holidays are crucial, but several of not incredibly colorful. On the other hand, there are several far more intriguing festivals celebrated in Japan that initially come from China.
Niju Shi Sekki, The 24 Solar Terms According to the classic farmer’s almanac from ancient China, the year can be divided into 24 periods or solar terms, about 1 each two weeks. In Japan, this method is recognized as Niju Shi Sekki (24 festivals). This calendar was applied by farmers to mark the year and these days are nonetheless printed on Japanese calendars currently. Some of them are also national holidays. Some are celebrated with precise customs or foods, but most are not celebrated at all. These days consist of the equinoxes and solstices. According to this method, the initially day of each and every season is not marked on an equinox or solstice, as in America, but the mid points in between them. The days in bold beneath are national holidays.
- Risshun: February four-Starting of spring (Setsubun, Feb 3rd, Spring Eve)
- Usui: February 18-Rain water
- Keichitsu: March five-Awakening of Insects (from hibernation)
- Shunbun: March 20-Vernal equinox, middle of spring
- Seimei: April four-Clear and vibrant (skies)
- Kokuu: April 20-Grain rain
- Rikka: Might five-Starting of summer season
- Shoman: Might 21-Grain Fills
- Boshu: June five-Grain in Ear
- Geshi: June 21-Summer season Solstice, middle of summer season
- Shosho: July 7-Small Heat
- Taisho: July 23-Terrific Heat
- Rissha: August 7-Starting of Autumn
- Shosho: August 23-Finish of Heat
- Hakuro: September 7-Descent of White Dew
- Shubun: September 23-Autumnal Equinox, middle of Autumn
- Kanro: October eight-Cold Dew
- Soko: October 23-Descent of Frost
- Ritto: November 7-Starting of winter
- Shosetsu: November 22-Small Snow
- Taisetsu: December 7-Terrific Snow
- Toji: December 22-Winter Solstice, middle of Winter
- Shokan: January five— Small Cold
- Daikan: January 20-Terrific Cold
In addition to the Niju Shi Sekki days, there are 15 further calendar days, collectively recognized as Zaasetsu. These consist of Setsubun, a vacation on the eve of Risshun, the initially day of Spring, The Doyo days, 18 days ahead of the commence of each and every season, and the Higan days. A lot of of the Niju Shi Sekki or Zaasetsu days have precise customs or foods linked with them.
Gosekku Festival Days These are a group of 5 festivals from China that had been initially observed on the lunar calendar, but in Japan, have been converted to the Gregorian calendar:
- Seven Grasses Day, Nanakusa no sekku, Held on the seventh day of the initially month (January 7th). It is a day when persons consume rice porridge produced with seven classic spring herbs to market wellness. Also recognized as “Human Day” Jinjitsu.
- Girls’ Day, Hinamatsuri The third day of the third month (March 3rd). It is a day when girls show gorgeous classic dolls in the hopes of fantastic luck and fantastic marriage.
- Children’s Dayor Boys’ Day, Kodomo no hi. The fifth day of the fifth month (Might 5th) Also a national vacation. Boys hang up carp streamers and show miniature armor to be robust.
- The Star Festival, Tanabata. The seventh day of the seventh month (July 7th). There is a folktale of two lovers on either side of the milky way who can only meet but when a year on this day. The principal activity for kids is writing wishes and hanging them on a tiny bamboo branch.
- The Double Ninth orChrysanthemum Festival, Choyo,The ninth day of the month (September 9th) Nine is a fortunate quantity in China and this was also a day to observe chrysanthemums or other flowers. This festival is not a lot observed in Japan and is incredibly minor compared to the other people.
Setsubun: This indicates the eve ahead of the initially day of the new season. Technically, there are 4 setsubun, 1 for each and every season, but the only 1 that is celebrated is the Spring setsubun on February 3rd. In ancient occasions, the initially day of spring was believed of like New Year. Setsubun was like New Year’s Eve. On this day, little ones throw beans at demons to ward off evil and consume sushi rolls in an auspicious path.
Doyo Days: Doyo indicates 18 days ahead of the starting of each and every season. As with setsubun, there are 4 Doyo days each and every year, but there is only 1 that is celebrated. It is 18 days ahead of the starting of autumn on August 7th. This day is referred to as Doyo Ushi No Hi, also recognized as Eel Day and falls about July 21, but varies slightly each and every year. This is the hottest element of the year and persons consume eel for stamina.
Higan: Higan is a Buddhist time of reflection for seven days that happens twice a year, 3 days ahead of and 3 days soon after the Spring and Autumnal Equinoxes. This is also a time to check out household graves. Most persons on the other hand, assume of Higan in the autumn. It is at this time of year the so-referred to as higanbana flower (red spider lily) blooms. This gorgeous, however uncommon searching flower grows wild now in Japan in fields and along roadsides. Its look is linked with the return of the ancestors.
Tsukimi: Tsukimi is the autumn moon viewing festival. The complete moon of the eighth lunar month is the harvest moon. This is stated to be the biggest moon of the year and most gorgeous for viewing. This generally falls in September. Japanese will traditionally hold parties to view the moon. They place up decorations of susuki, or pampas grass, a sort of autumn grass. They also consume sweet rice dumplings referred to as tsukimi dango.
This encompasses most of the significant calendar festivals in Japan. On the other hand, there are also several other regional town festivals or religious festivals linked with precise temples or shrines.