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A group of young people in formal suits and kimono gather together.
Public Holidays
  1. New Year's Day or Shōgatsu (January 1)
  2. Coming-of-Age Day (second Monday in January)
  3. National Foundation Day or Kigensetsu (February 11)
  4. Spring Equinox Day or Vernal Equinox (March)
  5. Golden Week (Late April-Early May)
  6. Marine Day (Third Monday in July)
  7. Respect-for-the-Aged Day (Third Monday in September)
  8. Autumnal Equinox Day (September)
  9. Culture Day (November 3)
  10. Labor Thanksgiving Day (November 23)
  11. Emperor’s Birthday (December 23)
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Seven members of the Imperial Family stand on a balcony while hundreds below waive Japanese flags
The Imperial Family greets wellwishers on the Emperor's Birthday.
Photo Courtesy of the Imperial Household Agency.
Emperor’s Birthday (December 23)
December 23rd became a national holiday in 1989 when the current emperor, Heisei Emperor Akihito, ascended the throne. This holiday celebrates the birth of the emperor, a symbol of Japan. On this day, a series of events are held at the Imperial Palace to celebrate. Although the public is not allowed to enter the residence of the Emperor, booths with message books are set up for those who want to send greetings and well-wishes to the Emperor. It is customary for the Imperial family to come out onto a balcony of the palace to greet the well-wishers who have gathered. The cheering crowd responds by waving small rising-sun flags.
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