Japan Travel and Culture Guide
japanese holidays and celebrations
silver week: japan's elusive mega holiday
Silver Week: Japan's Elusive Mega Holiday
posted by John Spacey, Japan Talk, April 12, 2012
Japanese workers get plenty of holidays. Following the Golden Week (April/May) and Obon (July or August) mega holidays there's another 2 holidays in September.
HolidaysJapan's September holidays are as follows:
Respect for the Aged Day ~ third Monday of September
Autumnal Equinox Day ~ an astrological date (usually September 23)
Nobody does anything to celebrate — they're just days off.
Obscure Holiday LawsJapan has several obscure holiday laws:
1. Any workday sandwiched between two holidays becomes a holiday itself (kokumin no kyujitsu).
2. Any holiday that falls on a Saturday or Sunday is shifted to Monday (happy Monday system).
Silver WeekOnce in a while the stars align and Japan's holiday laws kick in. The result: a 5 day holiday. This is known as "Silver Week" in Japan. It's named after Golden Week in April / May. It also has a double meaning: "silver" is a common word in Japanese to describe the older generation (Respect for the Aged day hence brings "Silver Week").
Silver Week is relatively rare: 2015, 2026, 2032, 2037, 2043, 2049.
There has been much talk in Japan of moving the days to make it a permanent 5 day holiday. It's thought that this could boost the economy (Golden Week is considered a major economic stimulus). Japan already has more holidays than any other country in the World.
Silver week is similar to Golden Week: prices for travel skyrocket, trains fill up, there are traffic jams and everything (from movie theaters to temples) becomes unbelievably busy.
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