Holidays and festivals in Japan
Currently in Japan officially celebrates 15 holidays.
January 1 — New year. Celebrated since 1948
January 15 — Day of age. Introduced in 1948 on this day, congratulations boys and girls who have reached the age of 20.
February 11 — national Foundation Day. Celebrated since 1966, 1873 February 11 Japan commemorated the founding of the Empire. One of the main festivals from the Meiji period until the end of the second world war.
March 21 — the vernal equinox. 1878 is celebrated with a Religious holiday based on the cult of ancestor worship and memorial services.
April 29 — greenery Day. Introduced in 1989, instead of celebrating birthday of the late Emperor Showa, whose birthday is celebrated by the Japanese from 1927 to 1988
May 3 — Constitution Day. Celebrated since 1948, starting with the first anniversary of the adoption of the new Constitution of Japan.
May 4 — a Day of rest. Introduced in 1988
May 5 is children’s Day. Introduced in 1948
July 20 — marine Day, celebrated since 1996
September 15 — the Day of honoring the elderly. Introduced in 1965 on this day, attained 100 years of age on behalf of the government are given gifts. Congratulations to all the elderly.
September 21 — autumnal equinox. Celebrated since 1878 same Day of the vernal equinox.
October 10 is sports Day. Celebrated since 1966, Introduced after the Tokyo Olympic games 1964
November 3 — culture Day. Introduced in 1948
November 23 — labor Day. Since 1873, is celebrated as a Day of gratitude for a good harvest.
December 23rd — well the birthday of Emperor Akihito. Birthdays of the emperors of Japan as a national holiday since 1873 celebrated the 23rd of December became a holiday in 1989
Folk festivals “Matsuri”
Traditional folk festivals “Matsuri”, or as they are called – “festivals”, celebrated all over Japan at different times of the year. Unlike state holidays, they are not “red calendar days”, i.e. days off are not on a national scale. This is not surprising – after all, such folk holidays are celebrated in different places of the country at different times. Unlike national holidays, they are festive local events, the roots of which, as a rule, go into the distant past. Throughout Japan in different places and at different times is celebrated annually tens of thousands of such local holidays.
Very often, local communities are using them to attract tourists to this area and create a special national colors decorating the town or village the riot of fun and colors. Some of them are held in the form of costumed carnivals, and are accompanied by national songs and dances. Very often the center of this festival is the famous Shinto or Buddhist temple, or miraculously preserved from the times of samurai battles of the middle ages the old feudal castle. Travel companies send out calendars and directories such local celebrations to attract tourists that are happy to include in your itinerary visits to Japan’s participation in such celebrations, festivities and colorful festivals.
The largest and best known are in Japan, the “gion Matsuri” is one of the grandest festivals held each year in Kyoto, which gave lying in the centre of the gion area where there is an ancient Shinto Shrine, Yasaka Shrine, “Jidai-Matsuri” is one of the most representative celebrations devoted to the history of the country, which was celebrated for the first time on 22 October 1895 in year built Shrine Heian Jingu Shrine, to commemorate the 1,100 anniversary of the founding of Kyoto.
The number of different holidays, festivals and ceremonies, traditionally denoted by the General word “Matsuri”, the country is clearly a global leader. Only “official” Matsuri, caught in nationwide tourist catalogues, there are more than 200, and the number of local just can’t be counted. The most famous, besides the above mentioned, traditional festivals such as the snow festival “Yuki Matsuri” (January) and ice festival in Sapporo (beginning of February), the festival water drawings “Omizutori” (beginning of March), her flower viewing “Hanami” (cherry blossom, late March), the Day The birth of Buddha or Flower Festival “Hana Matsuri” (early April), the biggest Buddhist festival of the country, “Sanya Matsuri” (end of may), star festival “Tanabata Matsuri” (early July), the “Festival of the Dead” or “feast of lanterns” O-Bon (mid-July to late August), Festival of folk dance “Awa Odori” in Tokushima (mid-August), Autumn Grand Festival in Nikko (mid October) and many others. Spring is the “Festival of lilac”, while the late autumn – Festival “White illumination” in Sapporo. “Feast of shouting” “I-I Matsuri” (the first Sunday of February) is held in Owase, parade of boats and rafts “Mifune Matsuri” (end of may) in Kyoto, and, of course, “Valentine’s Day. Valentine” is in February-March.
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