May 5, 2011

Golden Week

Like I have mentioned in early post. I am going to be doing a little culture in some of my blogs. While being stationed in Okinawa, Japan, I would like to share some things from here to people back in the states who don't have the opportunity to travel, would like to travel & are looking for places to visit in the world. This is great way for me to share my experiences and culture with you!

The Golden Week had began! It  is a collection of four national holidays within seven days.The Golden Week is one of Japan's three busiest holiday seasons. During Golden Week, and accommodation in tourist areas can get booked out well in advance. In this week, many families take off from work, businesses close & school is out in honor for celebration. The national holidays making up the Golden Week are:

  • Showa Day (Showa no hi): April 29 is the birthday of former Emperor Showa, who died in the year 1989. Until 2006, Greenery Day (see May 4) used to be celebrated on this day.
  • Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi): May 3, n this day in 1947, the new post war constitution was put into effect.
  • Greenery Day (Midori no hi): May 4 Until 2006, Greenery Day used to be celebrated on April 29, the birthday of former Emperor Showa. The day is dedicated to the environment and nature, because the emperor loved plants and nature. Before being declared Greenery Day, May 4 used to be a national holiday due to a law, which declares a day, that falls between two national holidays, a national holiday.
  • Children's Day (Kodomo no hi): May 5. 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.
Below are some pictures of Koinobori in Japanese meaning "Carp streamer". Landscapes across Japan are decorated with koinobori from April to early May, in honor of sons and daughters in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong. These picture were taken at the Hijagawa River early this week. Enjoy :)