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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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A picture of a card of a plastic fish in a tropical sea, half in the water, half out.
This summer greeting card reads "Summer, Enjoy".
Image from Kyotaro Card Site.
Summer Greetings or Shochū Mimai (late July to early August)
In summer, it is customary to send greetings called ‘shochū mimai’ (greetings during summer’s heat) to friends and relatives. ‘Shochū’ refers to the eighteen-day-period ending around August 7 (risshū beginning of autumn) the hottest time of the year in Japan. People send greeting cards to show their concern for those who may suffer in this hot and uncomfortable season. Stores sell cards with summer-themed pictures, such as goldfish, wind chimes, beach scenes and seashells. Such summer greetings must be sent before risshū. Cards sent later belong to the season of ‘lingering heat’ (zansho), and so are called ‘zansho mimai’. For many Japanese people, both new year’s greeting cards and summer greeting cards are important ways to keep in touch with friends and relatives that they may not see very often.
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