Announcement: Because of the holidays in Japan, there is onceagain no WSJ this week. Naruto, Bleach, OP and other series should bereturning some time next week.
The following are Japanese nationalholidays and some of the most important other annual nationwide events.In addition, there are countless local annual festivals. Our event calendar can be consulted for exact dates.
- January 1 (national holiday)New Year (shogatsu):This is the most important holiday in Japan. While only January 1is designated as a national holiday, many businesses remain closedthrough January 3. More information is available on the New Year page.
- Second Monday of January (national holiday)Coming of Age (seijin no hi):The coming of age of 20 year old men and women is celebrated on this national holiday. More information is available on the Coming of Age page.
- February 3Beginning of spring (setsubun):Setsubun is not a national holiday, but celebrated at shrines and temples nationwide. More information is available on the Setsubun page.
- February 11 (national holiday)National Foundation Day (kenkoku kinenbi):According to the earliest Japanese history records, on this day in the year 660 BC the first Japanese emperor was crowned.
- February 14Valentine's Day:In Japan, women give chocolates to men on Valentine's Day. It is not a national holiday. More information is available on the Valentine's Day page.
- March 3Doll's Festival (hina matsuri):Also called girl's festival. More information is available on the Doll's Festival page.
- March 14White Day:The opposite of Valentine's Day: Men give cakes or chocolates towomen. It is not a national holiday. More information is available onthe White Day page.
- Around March 20 (national holiday)Spring Eqinox Day (shunbun no hi):Graves are visited during the week (ohigan) of the Equinox Day.
- April 29 (national holiday)Showa Day (Showa no hi):The birthday of former Emperor Showa. Before 2007, April 29 wasknown as Greenery Day (now celebrated on May 4). Showa Day is part ofthe Golden Week.
- May 3 (national holiday)Constitution Day (kenpo kinenbi):A national holiday remembering the new constitution, which was put into effect after the war. More information is available on the Golden Week page.
- May 4 (national holiday)Greenery Day (midori no hi):Until 2006, Greenery Day was celebrated on April 29, the formerEmperor Showa's birthday, due to the emperor's love for plants andnature. It is now celebrated on May 4 and is part of the Golden Week.
- May 5 (national holiday)Children's Day (kodomo no hi):Also called boy's festival. More information is available on the Golden Week page.
- July/August 7Star Festival (tanabata):Tanabata is a festival rather than a national holiday. More information is available on the Tanabata page.
- Third Monday of July (national holiday)Ocean Day (umi no hi):A recently introduced national holiday to celebrate the ocean. The day marks the return of Emperor Meiji from a boat trip to Hokkaido in 1876.
- July/August 13-15Obon:Obon is a festival to commemorate deceased ancestors. More information is available on the Obon page.
- Third Monday of September (national holiday)Respect for the Aged Day (keiro no hi):Respect for the elderly and longevity are celebrated on this national holiday.
- Around September 23 (national holiday)Autum Equinox Day (shubun no hi):Graves are visited during the week (ohigan) of the Equinox Day.
- Second Monday of October (national holiday)Health and Sports Day (taiiku no hi):On that day in 1964, the Olympic games of Tokyo were opened.
- November 3 (national holiday)Culture Day (bunka no hi):A day for promotion of culture and the love of freedom and peace. On culture day, schools and the government award selected persons for their special, cultural achievements.
- November 15Seven-Five-Three (shichigosan):A festival for children, Shichigosan is not a national holiday. More information is available on the Shichigosan page.
- November 23 (national holiday)Labour Thanksgiving Day (kinro kansha no hi):A national holiday for honoring labour.
- December 23 (national holiday)Emperor's Birthday (tenno no tanjobi):The birthday of the current emperor is always a national holiday. If the emperor changes, the national holiday changes to the birthday date of the new emperor.
- December 24-25Christmas:Christmas is not a national holiday, but it is celebrated by anincreasing number of Japanese. More information is available on the Christmas page.
- December 31New Year's Eve (omisoka):December 31 is not a national holiday. More information is available on the New Year page.
If a national holiday falls on a Sunday,the following Monday will also be a holiday. If a day lies between twonational holidays, the day will also be turned into a holiday.