Silver Week or (シルバーウィーク) in Japanese is called 'Silver Week' because it is a close second to that other famous collection of national holidays in late April and early May which is called ‘Golden Week’. Silver is also a commonly used word that is used to describe the older generation in Japan. Respect for the Aged Day is one of the national holidays that falls in the Silver Week period, so it can be said to have a double meaning.
The three national holidays that make up the five-day break of Silver Week are:
- Respect for the Aged Day (Keiro no Hi) – third Monday of September
- Autumn Equinox Day (Shubun no Hi) – usually around September 23
- Citizens’ Holiday (Kokumin no Kyūjitsu) – the day between the two other holidays
Japan’s Holiday Laws
Japanese law stipulates that any workday sandwiched between two national holidays should become an additional holiday. Nice, right? This special national holiday is given the general term Kokumin no Kyūjitsu.
Japan also has the Happy Monday system, whereby any national holiday that falls on a Saturday or Sunday is shifted to the Monday.
Got to love Japan, right? The land of national holidays!
The Next Silver Week
Unfortunately Silver Week is a rare occurrence that only happens when the stars perfectly align and Japan’s national holiday laws kick-in. The next Silver Week will occur again in September 2020 (September 19 -23), so make sure you make the most of this fantastic opportunity if you are in Japan.
Silver Week is a popular time to travel in Japan and to get outdoors to enjoy the beautiful Autumn weather. We have a Sports Day (運動会) to attend today in Gifu.
How do you plan to spend Silver Week in 2015?