and Days of Importance in Japan
1st - New Year’s Day
Many companies will close their doors around
New Years day. This can happen from the 29th
of December until the 3rd of January. From
mid December to mid January is one of the
times of year where business slows down to
a crawl in most sectors; although recently
retail based businesses have remained open
to capitalize on the festive season.
8th - Coming of Age Day (Second Monday
A time when it is common to see young ladies
dressed in intricate kimonos. A great deal
of preparation is undertaken and for industries
which cater to beauty and fashion; a boom
time. Each local community usually puts on
an event. This is a holiday with particular
significance in Japan.
3rd - Coming of Spring
Not considered a holiday but a time where
the Japanese household prepares for spring.
A time when evil spirits are expelled and
good fortune welcomed, by throwing roasted
soy beans about the house.
11th - National Foundation Day
Commemorates the rule of Jimmu; Japan's first
Emperor and celebrates the founding of the
14th - Valentine’s Day
Although not recognized as a holiday, Valentine’s
day is widely celebrated. Unlike western countries,
Japanese women are expected to give their
male friends and colleagues chocolate whereas
White day (March 14th) is when men are expected
to be the givers.
3rd - Doll Festival
Not considered a holiday by widely observed.
Girls are the focus of this day and it is
common to see displays of miniature dolls
14th - White Day
Not considered a holiday but allows the men
to repay the women for gifts given on Valentine’s
20th - Vernal Equinox
One of two days in the year where both day
and night are equal. An important day for
Buddhists and a time where families may visit
the graves of their loved ones.
Not a holiday but the beginning of the school
year. The government’s fiscal year starts
on this day as well as many businesses.
29th - Greenery Day
This day was originally celebrated as Emperor
Hirohito’s birthday but after his death
it’s name was changed to signify the
Emperor’s love of nature. This day also
marks the beginning of Golden Week; a week
long spring break that see many families traveling
and enjoying the outdoors.
3rd - Constitution Memorial Day (always
This day is used to celebrate Japan’s
modern constitution implemented in 1947 after
World War 2.
4th - People’s Day (always
this holiday is dedicated to the people of
Japan as a nation.
5th - Children’s Day
In the past this was recognized as Boy’s
Day but has evolved into a day where prayers
of health and happiness for the nation’s
children are made. This marks the end of Golden
Second Sunday in May - Mother’s
Not considered a holiday but has gained popularity
recently and is recognized widely as a day
June 17th (Sunday) - Father’s
Not considered a holiday but as with Mother’s
day has recently become more recognized.
Not considered a holiday but is widely celebrated.
It comes from a Chinese legend telling of
the two stars Altair and Vega breaking away
from the Milky Way to met.
20th - Marine Day (always July 20th
A relatively new holiday to mark the previous
Emperor’s love of the ocean as well
as to display the Japanese peoples appreciation
of the sea.
Not a holiday but a sober day commemorating
the lives lost when Hiroshima was A-bombed
in 1945. Nagasaki was bombed 3 days later.
- Obon (always Aug 13-15)
Not considered a holiday, but an important
time in the Buddhist calendar where ancestor’s
souls can return to earth to visit their living
relatives. Most families will make time to
visit their ancestor’s graves during
this time and companies usually allow employees
time off to observe this belief.
September 15th - Respect
for the Aged Day (always on September 15th)
A day used to pay respect to Japan’s
elderly and to celebrate their longevity.
23rd - Autumnal Equinox
This is the second day of the year where night
and day are equal; an important time in the
Buddhist memorial period.
October 8th (Monday) - Sports
Day Taiku no Hi (always on second Monday)
This day is was used originally to celebrate
the 1964, Tokyo Olympics but is more widely
recognized today as a day to celebrate physical
and mental health through exercise. Schools
all over the country will have athletics days.
October 31st - Halloween
Not recognized as a holiday but commercially,
Halloween is becoming bigger each year.
November 3rd - Culture Day Bunka no Hi
A holiday celebrated with cultural activities
marking the Japanese love of freedom and wish
for continued peace.
15th - Shichi-Go-San Festival
Not considered a holiday but a traditional
festival. Especially important for boys aged
5 and girls aged 3 and 7.
November 23rd - Labor Thanksgiving
Day (always on Nov 23)
This is a holiday used by people for expressing
appreciation for one another’s hard
work and the rewards of that hard work.
December 23rd - Emperor’s
This day celebrates the birth of the current
25th - Christmas Day
Not considered a holiday in Japan but due
to Christmas’s commercial appeal has
become popular with children who, like their
counterparts in western countries, expect
to be given presents by their parents.