Thursday, April 26, 2012

Golden Week in Japan Apr 29 - May 5

Golden Week in Japan is right around the corner! This is one of the longest, most popular holiday periods. Golden Week consists of a group of national holidays in Japan stretching from April 29th to May 5th. The origin of Golden Week was simply  the movie industry's attempt to give people more time to go to the movies, calling it a "golden opportunity." 

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Golden Week 2012 promises a full week of exciting events and holidays. The week opens up with Midori no Hi, Green Day, on April 29th. April 29th was the birthday of Emperor Hirohito, from the Showa period. He was very passionate about environmental issues and a lover of nature, so following his death in 1989, April 29th became Midori no Hi, to honor nature and the environment. 

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The week continues with Kenpo Kinebi, Constitution Day, on May 3rd to celebrate  (from May 3, 1947) the new post-war constitution becoming law. May 4th celebrates Kokumin no Kyujitsu, or "Between Day." This national holiday was created recently in order to make Golden Week a continuous period of celebration. The week of excitement is concluded on May 5th with Kodomo no Hi, or Children's Day. This holiday was originally Boys Day, called Tango no Sekku. Families who had boys would celebrate by flying koi nobody, or carp streamers and gogatsu ninny, or May dolls. Now all children celebrate this day, not just boys, with special foods such as rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and mochi wrapped in oak leaves. 

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