Japan Golden Week

What did you do last night? I hope you evening was as great as mine because I went to happy hour with Katie and Sean. Then Sean and I did a date at home that consisted of a redbox rental and 4 cupcakes, 1 tiramisu flavored, 1 thin mint, 1 birthday cake (vanilla cake with chocolate frosting) and 1 banana nutella. Now tell me about yours!
Grab your passport because today I am talking about Japan and group of national holidays celebrated this week all clustered together known as Golden Week.
I have mentioned a few times here on the blog that I spent all four years of high school in Tokyo, was born in Okinawa, Japan and have many great memories of that wonderful country. I have also mentioned that I will try and sprinkle some Japanese culture or traditions throughout the blog.

 I certainly wouldn't be able to give Japan's national holiday's any justice if I didn't spent the next few days talking about Japan's Golden Week. In Japan, there are three major vacation time or holidays, New Years, Golden Week and the O-bon season which is in August.

 In Golden Week string of four national holidays this week, which are April 29 known as Showa Day, May 3 which is Constitution Day, May 4 which is  Greenery Day and May 5 which is Children's Day.

To say these holidays in Japanese, Showa Day you say Showa no hi, hi is the word for day in Japan. Showa was the emperor who ruled Japan during World War II, you know the Emperor that surrended to the U.S. on a ship a few days after Nagasaki and Hiroshima were bombed. Showa was the father of the current Japanese emperor. April 29 was the birthday of Emperor Showa.

To say Constitution Day which is celebrated May 3, you say Kenpo kinebi. The Japanese Constitution which was written by the U.S. was signed on May 3.

May 4 is Green Day or Midori no hi, Green Day is celebrated because Emperor Showa loved nature and the outdoors.
Just an interesting fact until 2006, April 29 was known as Greenery Day in rememberance of Emperor Showa rather than celebrate his birthday. However, the Japanese government in 2006 added May 4 as a national holiday since the day fell between two national holidays already. So in 2006, April 29 officially became known as Showa no hi (Showa Day) and April 4 was midori no hi (Green Day)

May 5 is Children's Day or commonly known as Boy's Day and in Japanese you say kidomo no hi, kidomo means children.
You typically see the flying fish on this holiday, the fish flags are flown to represent the number of boys in each household and the length of the fish flag represents how old the boy is, the longer the flag, the older the boy is.

What else can you expect during Japan's Golden Week? Expect the trains and the highways to be extremely crowded as many Japanese use these series of holidays as an opportunity to travel, both domestically and internationally. Businesses are closed, some shops and restaurants are closed and the Japanese stock market is closed.

In order to help me share more about Golden Week, I have a few guest posts from bloggers who reside in Japan right now and they will give you their experience of Golden Week and their observations.
First post is up tomorrow, Amanda of Marshalls Abroad!


Phil and Darby Hawley said...

I have never heard about Golden Week, this is awesome Meg!

BeckyJo606 said...

This is so cool! I loved the series you did on Japan before. Looking forward to hearing more about this holiday! :)

CALLIE said...

I just love when you talk about Japan!! So interesting.

Carlie said...

I like the two posts you've done on your hometowns this week! I had no idea Japan had a golden week! It must have been neat to be living in a different country like that!

Laura Burtis said...

That is so cool!! I love that you spent your high school years in Tokyo - what an amazing experience to have!

Jes said...

I went to Japan once when I was a lot younger and have always wanted to go back! This was a great post. It reminded me of what it was like to be there!

Meghan @ More from Meg said...

So jealous - I would have loved to do something like that in high school or college! Great post!

Magan said...

UM, can we talk about the fact that we used to live in Okinawa before moving to San Diego??? My heart is in Oki! Have we had this convo before?? I miss that place like no other and Golden Week was always crazy with all the festivities. Aw, I'm home sick for Oki now!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

sounds like a great date last night! And thanks for the info about Japan's Golden Week, I haven't heard of it. I will look forward to Amanda's post tomorrow, I love her blog!

Alexa said...

So neat to learn more about Japanese traditions and holidays. :) I still think that's so cool that you lived there!

Sami said...

It's so cool you know so much about the Japanese culture but I'll be honest you had me at Banana Nutella Cupcake. Sounds amazing!!

Tales of an HBS Wife said...

redbox and cupcakes sounds like the perfect night to me!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

Thanks for the informative post!

Marshall said...

I love all of these posts that you do, Meg. Ill link to mine when i post about the dragon boat races! (: