Japan National Holidays
Japan is a country of ancient traditions and complex history. While many countries are trying to give up their customs, the Land of the Rising Sun honors the ancient holidays, and from year to year it watches the flowering of the cherry blossoms.
The calendar of Japanese holidays consists of fifteen official dates. In the period of “syukujitsu”, which means “festive day”, the Japanese most often 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 celebrate throughout the country.
Sakura bloom festival in Japan is one of the most ancient and revered. The date of celebration is different every year. The official day of the start of flowering of trees is the appearance of the first flower on the sakura in the Yasukuni Buddhist temple located in Tokyo. On this day, the meteorological services transmit across the country a message that flowering began.
However, the Sakura festival in Japan is not an official event. Weekends and the like are not defined for this period, but this does not prevent the Japanese themselves and tourists from stopping and admiring the beautiful trees.
O-shogatsu - this is the name for the New Year in Japan. On New Year's holidays, it is customary to decorate houses with willow and bamboo branches.
For more than a thousand years, the beginning of the New Year has been marked by one hundred and eight bells in Buddhist temples. Each of them symbolizes the pernicious habits of humanity, driven by sacred sounds.
After the final blow, almost all Japanese leave their homes and go to the nearest temples to pray and make a wish.
Age of majority
National holidays of Japan include the celebration of the Day of majority. On the twelfth of February, the prefectural authorities are having parties for those who have just turned twenty.
On the eve of the holiday, everyone who has reached the age of majority in the last year receives a special invitation card. However, those who evade tax on accommodation will not be invited to the celebration.
These holidays of Japan became an official celebration only in 1948. Prior to this, young people were congratulated in a narrow family circle or in temples.
The third of February begins with a vociferous cry: “They wa-a-a soto! Fuku wa-aa uti! ”, Which calls 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 the belief that every object and thing has a spiritual embodiment. In the same way, in Setsubun, in all the houses, the expulsion of evil spirits, or Mammaki, is carried out.
In addition to apartments and houses, evil spirits are expelled from temples. This event gathers many viewers. At the end of the ceremony, people dressed as devils run out of the temple, symbolizing cleansing.
National holidays of Japan in February include the Day of State Establishment. In 1967, the eleventh of February was an official holiday.
The Jimma festival was introduced not for the Japanese, but for world leaders. By this, the government decided to show that power in Japan was in the hands of the Emperor. However, for the people of the country it does not matter what political significance this day has. Most Japanese are patriots, so Jimma is important to them. The celebration is held with family, friends and winter sports.
Hina Matsuri, also known as the feast of girls in Japan, is also included in the country's national holidays. The first month of spring in the Land of the Rising Sun is purely female. In addition to the eighth of March, peach blossom and the Day of dolls are celebrated. But the national day was only a holiday for girls.
The first mention of this day dates back to the eighth century and the Heian era. On the third of March, all the girls are dressed up in traditional robes - kimono. They visit friends at home, congratulate other girls and receive gifts themselves.
Day of spring equinox
The official holidays of Japan include the twentieth of March. The spring equinox, or Higan, is important to all Japanese. This holiday marks the beginning. In his run-up, the people of Japan carefully clean the houses, tidy up their home altars and commemorate the departed. Translated from the Japanese "Higan" - this is the world where the dead went.
Meals on this day do not contain meat products. Ritual dishes are strictly vegetarian - a tribute to the memory that, according to Buddhism, one cannot eat the meat of the slain.
The tradition to honor the memory of the departed is one of the oldest in Japan.
April twenty-ninth is the birthday of Emperor Hirohito, who ruled the country in the last century. Over time, he was awarded the title Showa. But the Japanese, who honor their history, decided not to forget an important figure for the country and perpetuate the memory of it by creating a national holiday.
However, April is not just a celebration for the birth of Emperor Hirohito. This month in Kyoto are open days and the residence of the current Emperor. Many people in Japan come to admire the grandeur of ancient architecture.
Since 1948, the third of May is an official holiday, when Constitution Day is celebrated.
After the defeat in World War II, the Japanese authorities were forced to change the country and accept the conditions of the winning countries. Thus, in 1947, the sovereignty of the Japanese inhabitants was recognized, the country became parliamentary, and the great Emperor, the "symbol".
Japanese holidays and traditions often go back to ancient times, but Constitution Day is relatively new, it allowed Japan to start developing after defeat and become one of the most influential countries in the world.
Another holiday associated with the legendary Emperor Showa was Green Day in Japan. On the fourth of May, the Japanese celebrate a “natural” holiday. This event is associated with the former Emperor’s love for greenery and trees. During the journeys of Emperor Showa around the country, citizens planted new trees in the villages.
However, for the Japanese themselves - this is one of the holidays, in whose history they do not go deep. So, until 2007, the Day of Greens 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 holiday of boys in Japan, is celebrated on the fifth of May. Throughout the country, flags are developing with koi nobori - carp.
According to an ancient legend, carp koi, living in a deep marshy pond, was able to overcome all obstacles and crossed the waterfall "Dragon maelstrom." After that, he changed: a simple carp became a dragon and ascended to distant skies.
It is for the strength and durability of the carp image used in the celebration. So the boy should follow the example of the fish and turn into a real man.
Traditional festivals in Japan include Mother's Day. May 10th in every Japanese family congratulate moms. Although in recent years, this holiday has become only a way to sell more gifts for dear mothers.
A week before the holiday in Japan, so-called gifts for mothers are put up for sale: aprons, bags, dresses, wallets, cosmetics, perfumes, etc. On TV, they advertise trademarks that provide discounts and gifts.
But, regardless of this, all Japanese honor their mothers. They believe that mothers are the center of every family and of society as a whole.
The Tanabata Festival (“Seven Nights”) has a history of more than a thousand years. The celebration begins on the seventh of July. The country is decorated with bamboo branches, specially prepared for the celebration.
According to legend, the king of heaven Tenko had a daughter, Orihime. She spun clothes of extraordinary beauty. Her products were so beautiful that her father forced his daughter to work every day. But because of the constant labor, the girl could not meet and love anyone. Tenko, wanting to make her daughter happier, introduced her to the shepherd Hikoboshi.
The 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 scattered along the banks of the Heavenly River, and Orihime stopped spinning.
Tenko got angry and decided to punish them. He divided them on different sides of the sky. But Orihime begged her father to have mercy 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, a holiday is held throughout Japan during which they honor the memory of the dead. The three-day lantern festival obliges the Japanese to visit the graves of the deceased family members.
At nightfall, people release paper lanterns that symbolize the souls of the dead. According to Buddhism, lanterns will help 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 home and remember the memory of the departed family members.
Surrounded on all sides by seas and oceans, July 20, Japan celebrates a national holiday: Day of the Sea.
In the nineties of the last century, residents of the Land of the Rising Sun began to realize the real value of the water surface off the coast of Japan. They began to actively advocate the introduction of the Day of the Sea into the list of official holidays. The result was achieved pretty soon. For the first time, the Day of the Sea was celebrated in nineteen ninety six.
Day of reverence for the elderly
Since 1947, the twenty-first of September was the Day of reverence for the elderly. The idea to nominate him as a national holiday was proposed by Maso Kadovaki, who was responsible for Hyogo prefecture. Initially, a small part of Japan joined the celebrations, but since 1950 this day has become increasingly popular.
Until 2007, the Day of reverence for the elderly was celebrated on the fifteenth of February.
Autumnal Equinox Day
And again, Higan. The autumn equinox holiday is celebrated on September 23rd. The dishes are vegetarian again: Buddhist faith forbids eating the meat of dead creatures.
In the Buddhist faith, Higan, both spring and autumn, has an ancient meaning. Regardless of the times and situation in the country, the Japanese always honor the memory of the departed.
Holidays in Japan in October begin on the first of October - Sake Day.
Sake is Japan's national alcoholic beverage. The process of its preparation is long and difficult, even taking into account the automation of the process. Made from rice sake, the resulting drink contains from thirteen to sixteen percent alcohol.
Sake is traditionally poured into brocade, forty-milliliter clay cups. The bottle has a volume of one go, which is equivalent to 180 milliliters.
Japanese when using sake try to follow the rules. Drink easily and with a smile. Do not rush and maintain an individual rhythm. Know your rate and snack.
The third of November, the Japanese celebrate the National Day of Culture. It stretches for a week, during this period students have almost no classes. Undergraduates tell campus guests about their achievements and life at the university.
But the celebration takes place not only in educational institutions. In cities and historically important parts of the country, girls and women dressed in traditional Japanese clothes walk around.
Emperors of Japan, active and deceased, significant figures. People worship their rulers even after 1947, when they became only a symbol of the nation.
On December 23rd, Japan celebrates the birthday of Emperor Akihito, who has already reached eighty years. Emperor Akihito is the son of Emperor Showa. He was crowned November 12, 1990. Every year more than ten thousand people gather at 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 has become a national holiday.
Interesting and mysterious eastern country Japan. Holidays and traditions, gods and emperors. Japan is a place where every object is endowed with a soul, where the goddesses Amaterasu and Tsukuemi rule in the sky. The country of Buddhism and ancient customs.
It is difficult for European countries to understand the Japanese’s world view, but it’s impossible not to agree that their history and holidays are breathtaking.