What is the least important Japanese holiday

All Holidays in Japan in 2021

Updated in January 2021

Japan has been in the Reiwa age • 令 和 時代 (Reiwa Jidai).

2021 is Year 3 of the Reiwa age and in many forms the year 2021 will also be with
令 和 3 described.

This year there is in Japan 16 national holidays *:

There are also quite a few interesting festivals **which are normal working days, but often have a special tradition or follow a special custom.

But there is also a celebration Oddities *** and sometimes less oddities ***, that follow an international custom, such as Halloween or Christmas.

Nobody can say exactly which festivals will take place in 2021. In 2020 everything was mixed up because of the global pandemic. That's why I have not listed the festivals in 2021 for the time being.

Here is the overview every day in 2021, where there is something to celebrate in Japan:

Table of Contents

The Holidays in Japan 2021

The japanese new year begins, like us, on January 1st: Oshogatsu - お 正月

By the way, 2021 is the year of the cow - 丑 年 • ウ シ ど し • Uschidoshi

You can find more information about the 12 Japanese zodiac signs here.

January | 1 月

1.1.2021 • Ganjitsu - New Years Day • 元日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

7.1.2021 • Nanakusa no Sekku - The 7 Herbs Festival |七 草 の 節 供 | HOLIDAY**

11.1.2021 • Seijin no Hi - coming of age • 成人 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

17.1.2021 • Onigiri no Hi - Onigiri Day | CURIOUS DAY ***

Back to overview

February | 2 月

3.2.2021 • Setsubun - Change of Seasons • 節 分 | HOLIDAY**

11.2.2021 • Kenkoku Kinen no Hi - Memorial Day for the Foundation of the Nation • 建国 記念 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

14.2.2021 • Barentain Dee - Valentine's Day • バ レ ン タ イ ン デ ー | CURIOUS DAY international ***

23.2.2021 • Tenno Tanjoubi - Birthday of the Emperor Naruhito • 天皇 誕生 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

Back to overview

March | 3 月

3.3.2021 • Hinamatsuri - Doll Festival for Girls • 雛 祭 り | HOLIDAY**

14.3.2021 • Waito Dee - White Day • ホ ワ イ ト デ ー | CURIOUS DAY ***

20.3.2021 • Shunbun no Hi - day of the same day / night / beginning of spring • 春分 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

Back to overview

April | 4 月

29.4.2021 • Showa no Hi - day of Showa / remembering Showa time • 昭和 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

Back to overview

May | 5 月

3.5.2021 • Kenpo Kinenbi - Japanese Constitution Day • 憲法 記念 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

4.5.2021 • Midori no Hi - Nature Day • み ど り の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

5.5.2021 • Kodomo no Hi - Children's Day • こ ど も の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

May 10th, 2021 • Haha no Hi - Mother's Day • 母 の 日 | HOLIDAY**

May 25, 2021 • Towel Day - Thoughts on Towel Day | CURIOUS DAY international ***

Back to overview

June | 6 月

June 21, 2021 • Chichi no Hi - Father's Day • 父 の 日 | HOLIDAY**

Back to overview

July | 7 月

7.7.2021 • Tanabata - Starry Day • 七夕 | HOLIDAY**

22.7.2021 • Umi no Hi - Day of the Sea • 海 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

23.7.2021 • Supotsu no Hi - Sports Day • ス ポ ツ の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*
For the opening of the Olympic Games in Tokyo - if they take place in 2021.
It used to be the Taiiku no Hi in October.

Back to overview

August | 8 月

6/8/2021 • Hiroshima Heiwa Kinnen Shiki Ten - "Peace Festival" • 広 島 平和 記念 式 典 | Remembrance Day **

8.8.2021 • Yama no Hi - Day of the Mountain • 山 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*
And because the holiday falls on a Sunday:
9.8.2021 • Ganjitsu - Replacement Day |振 替 休 日 • Furikae kyuujitsu

8/9/2021 • Nagasaki Heiwa Kinnen Shiki Ten - "Peace Festival" • 長崎 平和 記念 式 典 | Remembrance Day **

13-15.8.2021 • Obon - Commemoration of the dead • お 盆 | BUDDHIST CUSTOM

Back to overview

September | 9 月

1.9.2021 • Bousai no Hi - Disaster Prevention Day • 防災 の 日 | CURIOUS DAY ***

9.9.2021 • Kiku no Sekku - Chrysanthemum Festival • 菊 の 節 句 | HOLIDAY**

20.9.2021 • Keiro no Hi - Day of Respect for the Elderly • 敬老 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

23.9.2021 • Shubun no Hi - day of the same day / night / beginning of autumn • 秋分 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

9/26/2021 • World Prevention Day | CURIOUS DAY ***

Back to overview

October | 10 月

10/17/2021 • Tokyo Marathon • 東京 マ ラ ソ ン

31.10.2021 • Harowin - Halloween • ハ ロ ウ ィ ン | CURIOUS DAY international ***

Back to overview

November | 11 月

3.11.2021 • Bunka no Hi - Culture Day • 文化 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

11/15/2021 • Shichi Go San - 7 5 3 • 七五 三 | HOLIDAY**

23.11.2021 • Kinro Kansha no Hi - Day of Thanks for Work • 勤 労 感謝 の 日 | NATIONAL HOLIDAY*

Back to overview

December | 12 月

24-25.12.2021 • Kurisumasu - Christmas in Japan • ク リ ス マ ス | FESTTAG international **

12/31/2021 • Omisoka - New Year's Eve • 大 晦 日 | FESTTAG international **

Back to overview

About Japanese Holidays

If you would like to find out more about the individual day, then follow the links that are marked RED in the list.

What is actually being celebrated there?

National Holidays *

Employees usually have time off on national holidays. Shops are open normally on these days. So there are still people who have to work despite a public holiday.

Public holidays are called Shukujitsu • 祝 日 or also Kokumin no Shukujitsu • 国民 の 祝 日 (People's Holidays).

Some of these public holidays occur on the same date each year. However, if they fall on a Sunday, then a Replacement day determined: 振 替 休 日 • Furikae kyuujitsu.

It is practical to choose the previous Friday or the following Monday as a substitute, so that a long weekend arises.

This year there is a public holiday that falls on a Sunday.

Other holidays are flexible and usually extend over the weekend. These are the so-called Ido Shukujitsu • 移動 祝 日.
These four holidays are so-called Happy Monday Days • ハ ッ ピ ー マ ン デ ー:

  • Seijin no Hi - always on the 2nd Monday in January
  • Umi no Hi - always on the 3rd Monday in July (but this year put on a Thursday)
  • Keiro no Hi - always on the 3rd Monday in September
  • Taiiku no Hi - always on the 2nd Monday in October (renamed "Supotsu no Hi" since this year and exceptionally in July, for the opening of the Summer Olympics)

Often the days off are not celebrated that much. It's much more about relaxing on these days and doing something with the family.

A look at the days when Japan visitor is therefore not a bad idea, as trains are full, hotels are booked up faster and parks are busier than usual.

All public holidays are on my list ORANGE marked!

Interesting festivals **

Although people have to work regularly on these days, the festivals have a cultural background and are therefore an essential part of the lives of the Japanese.

As a visitor to Japan This is an interesting insight into the country's culture that you shouldn't miss if you get the chance.

All festive days and also memorial days are in my list GREEN marked!

Strange Days ***

These days are not necessarily on a public holiday calendar. But since many are spreading more and more in the country, I have included them. They also add a bit of fun to the otherwise dry list.

Maybe we don't find one or the other day strange at all. Valentine's Day, Halloween or Christmas are normal for us. I find it remarkable that there is no old culture or belief behind these days in Japan, but primarily a marketing strategy.

But I also see something completely different in this: First and foremost, they should be fun when writing, reading and partying.

All the strange and less strange days are in my list BLUEmarked!

In this article I have put together a whole series of creative & curious "holidays" that have arisen due to play on words with the date:

Japanese puns | Creative Holidays in Japan

Japanese festivals ****

The list of traditional festivals, Matsuri • 祭 り, I will spare myself this year, as long as it is not yet clear how and whether they take place at all.

Now your help is needed.
Have you ever heard of a Japanese festival that immediately piqued your interest? Which event do you really want to experience? Or have you been there before?

I would like to know more about that. Feel free to leave me a message in the comments.

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