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A young girl in a formal kimono holding  a large bag.
Cultural Holidays
  1. Calendars in Japan
  2. Fortune Calendar (Rokuyō)
  3. Events of the New Year's Period: Matsunouchi and Koshōgatsu
  4. Bean Throwing Day or Setsubun (February 3)
  5. Valentine’s Day (February 14)
  6. Doll Festival (March 3)
  7. White Day (March 14)
  8. Cherry Blossom Viewing Season or Hanami (late March to early April)
  9. Boys' Day, Children's Day, or Tango no Sekku (May 5)
  10. Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May)
  11. Father’s Day (third Sunday in June)
  12. Star Festival or Tanabata (July 7)
  13. Summer Greetings or Shochū Mimai (late July to early August)
  14. Summer Gift-Giving Season or Ochūgen
  15. Obon
  16. Seven-Five-Three or Shichigosan (November 15)
  17. Christmas Day (December 25)
  18. Winter Gift Giving Season or Oseibo
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Under blooming cherry trees, three people set up food and drink on a tarp
People gather to sit under the cherry blossoms, often with elaborate picnics.
Photo from Miya-chan's Gallery.
Cherry Blossom Viewing Season or Hanami (late March to early April)
Japan’s hanami (‘flower viewing’) season stretches from the end of March until April, when the sakura are blooming. The cherry blossom is Japan’s national flower and the most beloved flower of the Japanese people. During its brief blooming period, people gather at parks and promenades lined with cherry trees to enjoy the flowers. Under sakura trees in full bloom, people eat, drink, sing and chat, partying until late at night. As the cherry blossom season draws near, the Japan Meteorological Agency starts a “cherry blossom front” report to inform people when cherry blossoms will bloom in a particular region of Japan. Many people check the cherry blossom front on the news and make plans for their hanami parties. Since this is one of the most beautiful times in Japan, sketching competitions for children are held across the county, and children with drawing boards are a common sight.
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