Golden Week is upon us again. Most of you might have read this term before, others are utterly unaware of its existence. But what is this dreadful thing that gives us a manga free week in late April / early May?
The Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク Gōruden Wīku) is a chain of holidays, forming one of the peaks of the Japanese holiday schedule next to August's O-Bon and New Year. In recent years there has also been talk of a Silver Week in September. The single holidays, forming what we know as Golden Week, are Shōwa Day (昭和の日 Shōwa no Hi) on April 29, Constitution Memorial Day (憲法記念日 Kenpō Kinenbi) on May 3, Greenery Day (みどりの日 Midori no Hi) on May 4 and Children's Day (こどもの日 Kodomo no Hi) on May 5.
As you see, the cause of celebration varies wildly. While Shōwa Day is held in honor of the late Emperor Hirohito, Constition Memorial Day reminds the Japanese of the constitutions proclamation in 1947. Greenery Day, formerly replacing the Emperor's Birthday on April 29, has been moved to May 4 after Shōwa Day was created in 2007. As the name hints, it's a day for nature and the appreciation of its blessings. Lastly, Children's Day is wrapping up the series of holidays with its celebration of children's happiness. Originating in Boy's Day, both boys and girls are now celebrated and their fathers and mothers honoured. Traditionally it is celebrated by hoisting Koinbori (鯉幟), carp shaped windsocks, symbolizing the family members.
Overall, Golden Week constitutes the largest break for workers and businesses in Japan taking up to 10 days. Conversely it is one of the busiest times in the year for the leisure and travel industry, including but not limited to, movie theaters, hotels and airports. This also results in higher prices or altogether booked out flights, trains and hotels.
What is your country celebrating in May? Tell us in the comments below.
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