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  • Writer's pictureBen M

What is Golden Week?

Gold is often considered a precious metal and something of significant value.

Golden Week is the longest holiday in Japan, that contains four serial public holidays.

Many people know that the Japanese work and study hard. So this short holiday that spans a week is the most cherished time of the year for many Japanese.

Golden week contains the following holidays.

  1. April 29th – Showa Day (昭和の日) Japan has two types of year. The first is the typical Gregorian calendar we use meaning this year is 2021. The second is the number of years of the current emperor's reign. For example the current age is Reiwa (令和)and it is now the 3rd year of Reiwa. Before this there was Heisei(平成 1989 – 2019) and before that Showa (昭和 1926 – 1989) etc. While Japan generally uses the Gregorian calendar, the Japanese years are often used for official documents. Going back to Showa Day, This is the day that Japan celebrates Emperor Showa. It became a national holiday during the Showa era when emperor Hirohito declared his birthday a National Holiday.

  2. May 3rd – Constitution Day (憲法記念日) In 1947 the Japanese government introduced the new Constitution of Japan. Even though the new constitution was not properly introduced until May 3rd 1947, which became a national holiday.

  3. May 4th – Greenery Day (みどりの日) By the law of National Holidays, any one day that falls between 2 National Holidays is also considered a national holiday, this day sits between Constitution Day and the 5th May Holiday. From 1988 to 2006, it was the Citizen’s Holiday (国民の休日), but in 2007, it became Greenery day. Greenery Day was invented because Emperor Showa loved plants.

  4. May 5th – Children’s Day (こどもの日) Children's Day was originally was called Boys Day. During this holiday, koinobori, a carp-shaped wind sock will be hung outside family homes. When the wind blows, it looks like the carp are swimming. Typically the black carp is the father, the red or pink carp is the mother and any other carp represent their children. So if there are 4 carp, you know that family probably has 2 children.


May 6th and 7th are not national holidays, but many people take paid holiday on those days to extend their holiday. Some generous companies also give those days as holidays to their employees.



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