Golden Week is a holiday celebrated in Japan
. It is celebrated for the week of April 29th until May 5th. The term "Golden Week
" was derived by the movie industry to get people to take an advantage of the "golden
" opportunity to see a film. The term gradually began to be used by other people to refer to this string of holidays. It is usually crowded at stations, trains, highways and airports. Many people often travel in and out of the islands to visit their families.
The first day, April 29th celebrates Greenery Day (Midori no hi), equivalent to the American Arbor day. Greenery day celebrates Japan's last Emperor Hirohito, and his love of nature and plants. Hirohito, later named Emperor Shouwa, published books on plants and marine animals.
Hirohito was revered by the Japanese because he ended the idea that the emperor was a God, becoming the first "human " emperor. He also saved many lives in World War II and Japan from total annihilation by surrendering. After the war he worked very hard to bring peace and is considered one of Japan's greatest leaders.
Japan also celebrates their current Emperor's birthday.
The second celebratory day is May 3rd, Constitution Memorial day (Kenmo no hi). This day recognizes the postwar constitution that was put into effect in 1947. Sometimes there are demonstrations for (or against) this day.
The Girl's Festival (Hina Matsuri), is also celebrated on this day. Families with girls wish their daughters a successful and happy life. Dolls are displayed in the house together with peach blossoms. The doll festival has its origin in a Chinese custom in which bad fortune is transferred to dolls and then removed by abandoning the doll on a river bank (which isn't done anymore, the dolls are too expensive.) On the Girl's Festival, sweet sake - rice wine - is drunk, and chirashi sushi - seafood, mushroom and vegetables spread over sushi - is eaten.
Next is the Holiday for a Nation or People's Day (Kokumin no syukujitsu). This holiday was observed in 1999 and was initiated so that the people would have 3 consecutive holidays. It fills in the gap between Constitution day and Children's Day.
Children's Day, also known as Boy's Day (Kodomo no hi), is the last celebratory day in Golden Week. Fathers that have sons often fly carp streamers (Koi no buri, Koi meaning fish) infront of their homes. There are always giant carp streamers flying around the whole island. Usually there is a big one that is black and represents the family father, followed by a smaller one, which is red and represents the mother. Streamers began to be displayed like this in the 12th century.
Parents also pray for their children. They pray that they live healthy and pray for prosperity and their child's happiness]\.