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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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Department store workers gather around a display, cheering in unison, with one arm raised
Department store employees prepare themselves for the Oseibo season.
Photo from Gifu Shinbun.
Winter Gift Giving Season or Oseibo
Like ochūgen in summer, the oseibo season in winter is also a time to give gifts. In the past, people delivered new year’s offerings to their parents or the head family before the end of the year. Oseibo originates in this custom. Contemporary oseibo is not concerned with new year’s offerings, but serves as an occasion to thank anyone who has been of help by giving a gift. As they do at ochūgen, many people send food items, seasonings, or household goods as oseibo gifts. Although the oseibo season is in December, department stores set up merchandise for oseibo as early as November. In the past, people went in person to deliver the gifts and greet their benefactors, but these days, many have gifts sent directly from a department store or an internet retailer.
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