Golden Week (Japanese: ゴールデンウィーク, Hepburn: Gōruden Wīku)[a] or Ōgon Shūkan (黄金週間) is a week from 29 April to early May containing multiple Japanese holidays.[1] It is also known as Haru no Ōgata Renkyū (春の大型連休, Long spring holiday series).

Golden Week
Official nameゴールデンウィーク (Gōruden Wīku)
Also calledŌgon Shūkan (黄金週間, lit.'golden week')
Haru no Ōgata Renkyū (春の大型連休, lit.'long spring holiday series')
Observed by Japan
CelebrationsNumerous national holiday events
Date29 April – 5 May

Holidays celebrated Edit

Golden Week encompasses the following public holidays.[2]

Golden Week holidays
Name Date
Shōwa Day (昭和の日, Shōwa no Hi), 2007–present[3] 29 April
Constitution Memorial Day (憲法記念日, Kenpō Kinenbi), 1949–present 3 May
Greenery Day (みどりの日, Midori no Hi), 2007–present[3] 4 May
Children's Day (子供の日, Kodomo no Hi), also known as Boys' Day or the Feast of Banners, traditionally celebrated as Tango no Sekku (端午の節句). 5 May

Note that Citizen's Holiday (国民の休日, Kokumin no Kyūjitsu) is a generic term for any official holiday. 4 May was until 2006 an unnamed but official holiday because of a rule that converts any day between two holidays into a new holiday. Japan celebrates Labor Thanksgiving Day, a holiday with a similar purpose to May Day (as celebrated in Europe and North America). When a public holiday lands on a Sunday, the next day that is not already a holiday becomes a holiday for that year.[4] In some cases, a Compensation Holiday (振替休日, Furikae Kyūjitsu) is held on either 30 April or 6 May should any of the Golden Week holidays fall on Sunday; 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 have had Compensation Holidays for Shōwa Day, Children's Day, Greenery Day, and Constitution Memorial Day, respectively.

History Edit

The National Holiday Laws, promulgated in July 1948, declared nine official holidays. Since many were concentrated in a week spanning the end of April to early May, many leisure-based industries experienced spikes in their revenues. The film industry was no exception. In 1951, the film Jiyū Gakkō recorded higher ticket sales during this holiday-filled week than any other time in the year (including New Year's and Obon). This prompted the managing director of Daiei Film Co., Ltd. to dub the week "Golden Week" based on the Japanese radio lingo "golden time", which denotes the period with the highest listener ratings.[5] At the time, 29 April was a national holiday celebrating the birth of the Shōwa Emperor. Upon his death in 1989, the day was renamed to Greenery Day (みどりの日, Midori no Hi).[3] In 2007, Greenery Day was moved to 4 May, and 29 April was renamed Shōwa Day to commemorate the late Emperor.[3] The Emperor's Birthday (天長節, Tenchō Setsu) was celebrated from 1927 to 1948 and it is now called The Emperor's Birthday (天皇誕生日, Tennō Tanjōbi). Emperor Naruhito's birthday is on 23 February.[6]

Current practice Edit

Many Japanese nationals take paid time off during this holiday, and some companies are closed down completely and give their employees time off. Golden Week is the longest vacation period of the year for many Japanese workers.[citation needed]

Travel Edit

Golden Week is a popular time for holiday travel. Many Japanese travel domestically and to a lesser extent internationally.[citation needed]

Festivals Edit

The Takatsuki Jazz Street Festival is held during Golden Week.[7] It has two days of live jazz performances with 300 acts and over 3,000 artists in 72 different locations in-and-around the center of Takatsuki in northern Osaka.[7]

Sports Edit

The Super GT Fuji 500 km car race is held on the 4th of May and became synonymous with that date in Golden Week.[8]

Transition to Reiwa Edit

Golden Week in 2019 was particularly long due to the 2019 Japanese imperial transition, with the succession of the new emperor on 1 May designated as an additional national holiday. The day marks the official beginning of the new Reiwa era. As 29 April and 3 May are already holidays, this caused 30 April and 2 May to be public holidays as well, making 2019's Golden Week ten consecutive days, from Saturday 27 April through Monday 6 May.[9]

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic Edit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike discouraged holiday travel during "Golden Week" to prevent the spread of infection. Tokyo residents were advised to stay home for Stay Home Week (ステイホーム週間, Sutei hōmu shūkan).[10][11] The rebranded "Stay Home Week to Save Lives" ran from April 25 through to May 6.[12][13] Osaka governor Hirofumi Yoshimura closed schools on May 7 and 8 and businesses in the Kansai region were encouraged to extend the holiday period through the weekend until May 11.[14]

See also Edit

Footnotes Edit

  1. ^ Also ゴールデンウイーク, Gōruden Uīku

References Edit

  1. ^ "Do Not Come To Japan This Week". Kotaku.
  2. ^ "Les jours fériés du calendrier japonais" (in French). Nippon Communications Foundation. 28 April 2015. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019..
  3. ^ a b c d "Golden Week". 13 May 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Golden Week in Japan - Japanese Golden Week". 3 May 1947. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  5. ^ "ゴールデンウィーク – 語源由来辞典". 27 April 2004. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  6. ^ "「国民の祝日」について" [About "national holiday"]. Cabinet Office (Japan). Archived from the original on 29 March 2021. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Takatsuki Jazz Street Festival". Alongwalker. 1 March 2022. Archived from the original on 4 May 2022.
  8. ^ "2021 Fuji 500km Preview: The Golden Week Tradition Returns!". Dailysportscar. 2 May 2021. Archived from the original on 18 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Government to designate May 1, day of new Emperor's accession, as public holiday, creating 10-day Golden Week in 2019". Japan Times. 12 October 2018.
  10. ^ "「ステイホーム週間」初日の各地 "ゴルフ"やパチンコ店は大勢の人". FNNプライムオンライン. Fuji News Network. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  11. ^ "「STAY HOME 週間」ポータルサイト|東京都". Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Coronavirus Cases in Japan by Prefecture". 27 April 2020.
  13. ^ "「ステイホーム週間」初日 都内の商店街では自主休業". NHKニュース. NHK.
  14. ^ "大阪府立学校 来月8日まで休校|NHK 関西のニュース". NHK NEWS WEB. NHK. Retrieved 27 April 2020.