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執筆 上野陽子
2012/4 Up

第16回 変わりゆくゴールデンウイーク
Vol.16 Golden Week has been changed

What is the April 29 holiday and how has it been changed?


* 赤い色の語句の上にマウスカーソルを移動させる(スマホの場合はタップする)と語注が表示されます

The period many Japanese appreciate has come!

Golden Week (GW) is a Japanese term applied to the period from April 29 to May 5. The week contains four public holidays: Showa Day, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day and Children's Day. Because these holidays are so close together, most people are able to take about a week-long vacation. Usually it's hard for Japanese to take a long vacation so people appreciate this period. Let's take a look at the details of the holidays.


A consecutive three-day holiday after 2007

April 29 used to be celebrated as the birthday of the Showa emperor and after his demise, the day was kept as a national holiday. In recognition of the emperor, who had an interest in environmental problems, the day was named Greenery Day. In accordance with a 2005 revision of the law pertaining to public holidays, April 29 became Showa Day and Greenery Day was moved to May 4. Constitution Memorial Day, celebrated on May 3 in commemoration of the Japanese constitution, came into effect on that date in 1947 after World WarⅡ.


Displaying carp streamers to share in the strength of the carp

Children's Day is celebrated on May 5. It was originally a festival for boys. Many people who have boys still fly carp streamers on a high pole and display samurai armor praying for the boys' happiness and prosperity when they grow up. Carp have the power to swim up rapid streams and even waterfalls, so they are a symbol of strength. Nowadays, however, the day has become a holiday to celebrate both boys and girls.


だいぶ様相を変えてきたゴールデンウイークですが、そういえばその名前はどこから来たんでしょうか? そして、いよいよ休みが明けると日本人に見られるのは……。次回はそんなあたりをひもといてみましょう!

It was the emperor’s birthday until 1988, Greenery Day from 1989 until 2006 and since 2007 it’s been known as Showa Day. Greenery Day was moved to May 4.

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