Culture

Japan National Holidays

Photo: Takahiro Taguchi
Japan National Holidays
Greenery Day
May 4, 2020

Greenery Dayみどりの日・みどりのひ is celebrated as a day to appreciate nature and be grateful for its blessings. It was originally established in 1989 and held annually on April 29 to celebrate the birthday of Emperor Showa (also known as Emperor Hirohito).

After the ascension of Emperor Akihito in 1989, the holiday was renamed “Greenery Day” in remembrance of Emperor Showa’s love of plants. In 2007, the date was changed to May 4, which was initially a “national day of rest,” and April 29 was named “Showa Day.”

Greenery Day falls in the middle of ゴールデンウィークGolden Week, one of the longest holiday periods in Japan running from April 29 to the to May 5. The weather is exceptionally great during this time of year. Temperatures tend to be very pleasant and 晴れはれ・sunny weather is common.

Golden Week is also こめ・rice typically around when the first crop of 緑茶りょくちゃ・green teais harvested. Known as ichibancha一番茶・いちばんちゃ, the green tea harvested during this time is widely regarded as the tastiest of the year (the other two, nibancha二番茶・にいばんちゃ and sanbancha三番茶・さんばんちゃ occur in July and September).

On Greenery Day, it is customary to visit a 庭園ていえん・garden or a tea room for a 茶道さどう・tea ceremony. It’s a great oppurtunity to try the best green tea and celebrate nature.

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