In Japan, we have 3 vacation periods every year with the main one being Golden Week that takes place at the end of April to the beginning of May each year. Technically, the 30th April to the 2nd May are not holidays however most Japanese people take those days off to create a well-deserved 8 day long vacation. During this period, transportation and attractions can be difficult to access due to the sheer number of people traveling at that time.
Although there is no consensus as to why the week is called “Golden”, my theory is that the color generates positive images of happiness, excitement, and prosperity which also mirrors people’s moods when they are on holiday.
Golden Week actually consists of 4 national holiday:
– Showa Day (Showa no hi), on April 29th is the birthday of the Emperor Showa, or Hirohito. If the 29th falls on a Sunday, the following Monday becomes a holiday.
– May 3rd is Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi) and is celebrated in honor of the ratification of the Japanese constitution in 1947.
– Greenery Day (Midori no hi) is celebrated on May 4th. It is a day to embrace and be grateful of nature. It honors the environment, as Emperor Showa was a lover of nature, flowers, and plants.
– Finally, Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi or Tango no Sekku) on May 5th is a festival to celebrate children.