Okinawa info.

Okinawa info.: Golden Week explained

Monday, April 25, 2005

Golden Week explained

Golden Week:
The Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays within seven days. In combination with well placed weekends, the Golden Week becomes one of Japan's three busiest holiday seasons, besides New Year and the Obon week.

Trains, airports and sightseeing spots get very crowded during Golden Week, and accommodation in tourist areas are booked out well in advance. Foreign visitors are advised to avoid traveling to Japan during the Golden Week.

The national holidays making up the Golden Week are:

* April 29
Greenery Day (Midori no hi):
April 29 used to be the birthday of Emperor Showa, who died in the year 1989. After his death, the day was changed into a national holiday for environment and nature, since the emperor loved plants and nature. From 2007, this national holiday will be renamed Showa Day, while Greenery Day will be moved to May 4.

* May 3
Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi):
On this day in 1947, the new post war constitution was put into effect.

* May 4
"Between Day" (Kokumin no kyujitsu):
According to Japanese law, a day which falls between two national holidays is also declared a national holiday, unless the "between day" is a Sunday, in which case it will be just a regular Sunday. From 2007, Greenery Day, currently celebrated on April 29, will be moved to May 4.

* May 5
Children's Day (Kodomo no hi):
The Boy's Festival (Tango no Sekku) is celebrated on this day. Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging up carp streamers and displaying samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power and success in life. The Girl's Festival, by the way, is celebrated on March 3.


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