Where Are You Going For Your Holidays?
A holiday is a day set apart by law or custom, where normal activities, particularly work or school including church, are halted or completely suspended. In general, holidays are planned to let people commemorate or celebrate an occasion or tradition of particular cultural or historical importance. Holidays in Japan are different from those in the West, because they do not follow the calendar at all and are instead held on specific dates throughout the year. These days in Japan are traditionally associated with the periods when the emperor and emperors were in the state of Crab and Dolphin Protection Act (one of Japan’s major holidays). The entire period of the three-day weekend was devoted to the enjoyment of games, conversation, food preparation, dancing, and sports. This traditional holiday in Japan still continues today but has been adapted to accommodate western-style festivals such as New Year’s.
Holidays in Japan, unlike in Western countries, do not have a tradition of going out of one’s house to spend time with family and friends. The holiday seasons in Japan are long, fixed and extremely predictable. Unlike other countries, where a holiday might be announced by the post office or posted on television, in Japan it is made known to the community only – by saying “holidays” or “seiyaku” (here), “hoku” (han, read: house) or “jitsu” (bits, read: garden). A public holiday in Japan is announced by a member of the local community. The public usually announces four or five public holidays at a time and most people pay attention to only those holidays that fall within their birthdays or are widely celebrated within their communities. “Kiju-jitsu” (red calendar), the most popular public holiday in Japan, is celebrated on the first Sunday of January and is the one that honors the cherry blossom tree.
Historically, the earliest record of public holidays in Japan is the “Hokkaido Kiju-Jitsu”, established in 1873. In this year, all the islands of Japan were admitted into the Pacific League and there were two new countries, namely Sapore and Indonesia, who became a part of the Empire of Japan after the Meiji Period. This marked the beginning of commercial civilization in Japan, which lasted until the end of the nineteenth century. During this period, many celebrations such as national holidays, new years’ celebrations and religious observances were widely observed.
In modern times, Japanese people celebrate their national holidays in two ways: hiragekiya and inokotoba. The hiragekiya is the place where gifts and tokens of love are exchanged; while inokotoba is the lavish hotels and other facilities used for celebrating a traditional Japanese holiday. On most of the islands, it is customary for relatives and friends to visit the elderly for a few days and spend quality time together. A traditional Japanese dinner is also enjoyed and this event is also accompanied by dances and songs. Most visitors stay away from major cities during their holidays, to avoid having to use public transportation and enjoy more nature-based experiences.
In the United Kingdom, where English is the official language, public holidays in Japan are not properly marked and most people have no idea what a public holiday is even unless they have attended one. Most of the British public school holidays follow very similar patterns with some major differences, but when it comes to “Hokkaido Kiju-Jitsu” and “Bank Holiday in Japan” (the two most popular holidays), few of the minor variations are noted. On the other hand, the Great Britain government has taken steps to commemorate the cultural importance of various British public holidays by creating a variety of symbols and insignia. For example, the Union Jack is a common symbol for St. Patrick’s Day in Britain while “Easter Monday” is a more specific and identifiable symbol for the early Christian festival of All Saints.
When it comes to travel tips for the Japanese, the same general recommendations always apply – plan ahead and make sure you prepare your itinerary and plan your days off carefully. Remember that Japan has more days available in its calendar than the United States, making planning a holiday more difficult but planning ahead gives you time to find bargains and better accommodation. You can also take advantage of special discounts on many items and public transportation is generally more affordable so that you spend less time travelling in each direction.