Subject Guides

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Major holidays and festivals

New Year (Shōgatsu, also called Oshōgatsu), a public holiday observed from January 1–3, marking the beginning of a new calendar year.

Doll Festival (Hinamastsuri) is observed on March 3, during which girls display their doll collection, so it also called Girls' Day.

Shōwa Day (Showa no Hi), is named in honor of the Showa emperor, Hirohito, and falls on his birthday, April 29.

Constitution Day (Kempō Kinenbi), honors the Japanese constitution that was ratified following the end of WWII, observed on May 3.

Greenery Day (Midori no Hi), May 4.

Children’s Day (Kodomo no Hi), also called Boy's Day, is celebrated on May 5. Parents pray for the health and success of their sons by decorating their houses with carp-shaped streamers and displaying samurai dolls.

Obonthe Festival of the Dead, honors the spirits of one's ancestors.