For decades Dec 23 has been a public holiday in Japan because it was the emperor’s birthday. It was especially nice as a little final water station on the marathon working year in Japan. However, this year saw the end of that emperor’s reign and the beginning of a new era.
As a result, the public holiday will now shift from Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s birthday to that of his son Emperor Naruhito. That kind of sucks, but it’s part and parcel with the changing times. Still, many people in Japan might not realize it’s no longer a holiday because it’s still printed on many calendars (see photo above).
We can’t really blame the calendar companies for this though. At the time of this announcement, we were all so caught up in the pageantry that we had forgotten about the calendar makers who struggled with the fact that no details about holidays were confirmed as of the printing deadline.
So the National Calendar Publishing Cooperative Association made a multilateral decision to include both the former and proposed holidays on 2019 calendars. However, Heisei Emperor’s Birthday (Dec 23), Enthronement Days (April 30, May 1), and the Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor at the Seiden (Oct 22), all had the numbers marked in black ink rather than the standard red ink used for public holidays.
▼ Enthronement Day
▼ Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor at the Seiden
Getting this holiday plucked away certainly doesn’t feel nice. On the bright side, the current emperor’s birthday holiday isn’t too far away -- Feb 23.
Source: Cabinet Office, National Calendar Publishing Cooperative Association
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