National holidays in Japan
Japan is a country of ancient traditions and complex history. While many countries are trying to abandon their customs, the Land of the Rising Sun reveres the ancient holidays, and from year to year oversees the flowering of the cherry blossom.
The calendar of Japanese holidays consists of fifteen official dates. In the period of sykudzitsu, which means "festive day", the Japanese usually rest. However, the official calendar of holidays is diluted with many more events.
As you know, Japan consists of dozens of prefectures. Each of them has its own traditional holidays. But still there are holidays in Japan, which are celebrated all over the country.
The holiday of cherry blossom in Japan is one of the most ancient and revered. The date of the celebration is different every year. The official day of the beginning of the flowering of trees is the appearance of the first flower on sakura in the Buddhist temple of Yasukuni, located in Tokyo. On this day, meteorological services broadcast across the country a message that flowering has begun.
However, the Sakura festival in Japan is not an official event. To this period are not determined days off and the like, but this does not prevent the Japanese and tourists themselves from stopping and admiring the beautiful trees.
O-Shogatsu - this is the name of the New Year in Japan. In New Year's holidays it is customary to decorate houses with willow and bamboo branches.
For more than a millennium New Year's Eve marks a hundred and eight strokes of bells in Buddhist temples. Each of them symbolizes the pernicious habits of mankind, driven by sacred sounds.
After the final blow, almost all the Japanese leave the houses and go to the nearest temples to pray and make a wish.
Day of majority
National holidays in Japan include the celebration of the Day of Adulthood. On the twelfth of February, prefectural authorities hold parties for those who are just twenty years old.
On the eve of the holiday, everyone who has reached adulthood in the last year receives a special invitation card. However, those who shirk tax for residence will not be invited to the celebration.
These holidays of Japan became an official celebration only in 1948. Before this, young people were congratulated in a narrow family circle or in temples.
The third of February begins with a many-voiced call: "They are wa-ah-soto! Fuku wa-ah-ah uchi! ", Which encourages evil spirits to leave the house and calls for happiness.
The holidays of ancient Japan have an interesting history, and Setsubun is no exception. Buddhism is a belief that every object and thing has a spiritual embodiment. So in Setsubun all the houses spend the expulsion of evil spirits, or Mama-maki.
In addition to apartments and houses, evil spirits are expelled from temples. This event gathers a lot of spectators. At the end of the rite, people disguised as devils run out of the temple, symbolizing purification.
Day of foundation of the state
The national holidays of Japan in February include the Day of the founding of the state. In 1967, the eleventh of February became an official holiday.
The Dzimma festival was introduced not for the Japanese, but for world leaders. This government decided to show that the power in Japan is in the hands of the Emperor. However, for people of the country it does not matter what political significance this day has. Most Japanese are patriots, so Jimmy is important to them. Celebration is held in the family circle, with friends and for practicing winter sports.
Holiday of girls
In the national holidays of the country includes Hina Matsuri, also known as the festival of girls in Japan. The first month of spring in the Land of the Rising Sun is purely feminine. In addition to the eighth of March, celebrate the flowering of peaches and the Day of Puppets. But the national day was only a holiday for girls.
The first mention of this day refers to the eighth century and the Heian age. On March 3rd, all the girls are dressed up in traditional attire-kimono. They visit friends' homes, congratulate other girls and receive gifts themselves.
Day of spring equinox
The official holidays of Japan included the twentieth of March. The day of the spring equinox, or Higan, is important for all Japanese. This holiday marks the beginning. On its eve, the people of Japan carefully cleaned the houses, clean up the household altars and commemorate the deceased. In translation from the Japanese "Higan" - this is the world where the dead have gone.
Meals on this day do not contain meat products. Ritual dishes are strictly vegetarian - a tribute to the memory that according to Buddhism one can not eat the meat of the dead.
The tradition to honor the memory of the departed is one of the most ancient in Japan.
The twenty-ninth of April is the birthday of Emperor Hirohito, who ruled the country in the last century. Over time, he was awarded the title of Showa. But the Japanese, honoring their history, decided not to forget the important figure for the country and immortalized the memory of it, creating a national holiday.
However, April is not only a celebration for the birth of Emperor Hirohito. This month in Kyoto, there are days of open doors and residences of the incumbent Emperor. Many residents of Japan come together to admire the grandeur of ancient architecture.
Since 1948, the third of May is an official holiday, when the Constitution Day is celebrated.
After the defeat in World War II, the Japanese authorities were forced to change the country and accept the terms of the winning countries. Thus, in 1947, the sovereignty of Japanese residents was recognized, the country became a parliamentary one, and the great Emperor became a "symbol".
Japanese holidays and traditions often date back to ancient times, but the Constitution Day is relatively new, it allowed Japan to start development after the defeat and become one of the most influential countries in the world.
Day of greenery
Another holiday associated with the legendary Emperor of the Sueva was the Green Day in Japan. May 4, the Japanese celebrate the "natural" holiday. This event is connected with the love of the former Emperor to green plantations and trees. During the journeys of the Emperor of Sauv in the country, the subjects planted new trees in the villages.
However, for the Japanese themselves - this is one of the holidays, in whose history they do not go deeper. So, until 2007, the Greenery Day was celebrated not on the fourth of May, the holiday did not have an exact date at all.
Children's Day, or the so-called boys' holiday in Japan, is celebrated on May 5th. Flags with koi-noori-carp are developing all over the country.
According to an ancient legend, carp koi, living in a deep swampy pond, could overcome all obstacles and crossed the waterfall "Dragon Whirlpool". After that, he changed: a simple carp became a dragon and ascended into the distant heavens.
It is for strength and firmness that the image of carp is used in celebration. So the boy must follow the example of the fish and turn into a real man.
Traditional Japanese holidays include Mother's Day. On May 10, in every Japanese family, mothers are congratulated. Although in recent years, this holiday is only a way to sell more gifts for dear mothers.
One week before the holiday in Japan, so-called gifts for moms are put up for sale: aprons, bags, dresses, wallets, cosmetics, perfumes, etc. On television, advertising brands that provide discounts and gifts are played.
But, regardless of this, all the Japanese revere mothers. They believe that it is mothers who are the center of every family and society as a whole.
The Tanabata Festival ("Seven Evenings") has a history of more than a thousand years. The celebration begins on the 7th of July. The country is decorated with bamboo branches, prepared especially for the celebration.
According to legend, Tzo had a daughter, Orihime, with the king of heaven. She spun clothes of extraordinary beauty. Her products were so beautiful that her father made her work every day. But because of the constant work the girl could not meet and love anybody. Tenko, wanting to make his daughter happier, introduced her to the shepherd Hikoboshi.
Young people fell in love at first sight and soon got married. They spent a lot of time on each other, and so soon the cows dispersed along the banks of the Heavenly River, and Orihime stopped spinning.
Tenko became angry and decided to punish them. He divided them on different sides of the sky. But Orihime begged her father to be merciful and let her see her husband. Once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh month, when Altair and Vega cross, Orihime and Hikoboshi can see each other.
From the thirteenth to the fifteenth of August, throughout Japan, there is a celebration during which the memory of the deceased is honored. The three-day festival of lanterns obliges the Japanese to visit the graves of deceased family members.
With the onset of darkness people release paper lanterns, symbolizing the souls of the dead. According to Buddhism, the flashlights will help the souls find their way home.
Although Obon is not an official holiday, almost all offices and companies are closed for this period. Every Japanese tries to visit his native home and commemorate the departed family members.
Surrounded on all sides by the seas and oceans, on the twentieth of July Japan celebrates the national holiday: the Day of the Sea.
In the nineties of the last century, the people of the Land of the Rising Sun began to realize the real value of the watery surface off the coast of Japan. They began to actively advocate the introduction of the Sea Day on the list of official holidays. The result was achieved quite soon. For the first time, the Day of the Sea was celebrated already in the year of nineteen ninety-six.
Day of veneration of elderly people
Since 1947, the twenty-first of September has become the Day of veneration of the elderly. The idea of nominating him as a national holiday was offered by Maso Kadovaki, who was in charge of Hyogo Prefecture. Initially, the celebrations were joined by a small part of Japan, but already in 1950 this day became more popular.
Until 2007, the Day of Veneration of the Elderly was celebrated on the fifteenth of February.
The day of the autumn equinox
And again, Higan. The Autumn Festival of the Equinox is celebrated on September 23rd. The dishes are again vegetarian: Buddhist faith forbids eating the meat of dead creatures.
In the Buddhist faith, the Higan, both spring and autumn, has an ancient meaning. Regardless of the times and the situation in the country, the Japanese always honor the memory of the deceased.
Holidays in Japan in October begin on October 1 - Day of sake.
Sake is the national alcoholic beverage in Japan. The process of its preparation is long and difficult even taking into account the automation of the process. It is made of rice sake, the resulting drink contains from thirteen to sixteen percent of alcohol.
Sake is traditionally bottled in teko, clay glasses with a volume of forty milliliters. The bottle has a volume of one go, which is equivalent to 180 milliliters.
The Japanese try to follow the rules when using sake. Drink easily and with a smile. Do not rush and maintain an individual rhythm. Know your standard and have a snack.
Day of Culture
On November 3, the Japanese celebrate the National Day of Culture. It stretches for a week, during this period the students have almost no classes. Senior students tell campus guests about their achievements and about life at the university.
But the celebration takes place not only in educational institutions. By cities and historically important parts of the country, girls and women, dressed in traditional Japanese outfits, are walking.
Birthday of the Emperor
The emperors of Japan, active and deceased, are significant figures. People revere their rulers even after 1947, when they became only a symbol of the nation.
On December 23, throughout Japan, the Emperor Akihito's Birthday is celebrated, which has already overcome the boundary at eighty years. The Emperor Akihito is the son of the Emperor Shov. He was crowned on November 12, 1990. Annually more than ten thousand people gather near the Emperor's palace in Kyoto and greet him, wishing him further prosperity.
It is worth noting that in Japan for several centuries the Emperor's Birthday is becoming a national holiday.
Interesting and mysterious eastern country Japan. Holidays and traditions, gods and Emperors. Japan is a place where each subject is endowed with a soul where the goddesses Amaterasu and Tsukuyemi rule in the firmament. A country of Buddhism and ancient customs.
European countries find it difficult to understand the vision of the world of the Japanese, but it is impossible not to agree that their history and holidays are breathtaking.