The roots of Respect for the Elderly Day go back to a small village in Hyogo Prefecture in 1947 when “Old People’s Day” was first celebrated. The idea resonated with communities across Japan, leading to the declaration of Respect for the Elderly Day as a national holiday in 1966.
Although this holiday may be relatively new, the concept of respecting elders is ingrained in Japanese culture. The honorific system of speech known as keigo is a common practice, showing respect when addressing one’s elders. Today, is a day dedicated to honoring the wisdom and life experiences of older people.
People in Japan celebrate Respect for the Elderly Day in different ways. Many of them visit their parents, grandparents, and other relatives to share a meal, give gifts, or simply spend quality time together. Volunteers play their part by distributing free lunches to elderly neighbors, while the government offers a silver-plated trophy to centenarians who reach the milestone in the year before the holiday.
The media also plays a role in celebrating this day, as they have devoted television programs to interviewing some of the country’s elderly about their life experiences and tips for maintaining a long and healthy life. School children also join in the festivities, performing songs and dances at the Kerokai festivities, showing their youthful vitality.
On Respect for the Elderly Day, it is a tradition to express gratitude to the elders in one’s life for their valuable advice, life lessons and compelling stories. So, if you have an older person in your life, don’t forget to show your appreciation today.
Happy Respect for the Elderly Day, Japan!
(tags for translation)Google Doodle