If you think only the Pinoys know how to put holidays together and get entire weeks off from work (like Holy Week and Christmas holidays), think again. The Japanese have their own string of long holidays that — depending on how the days fall in a calendar year, could extend all the way up to ten days in a row.
Golden Week falls on the first week of May, starting with Showa ni Hi (Showa Day, or The Birthday of the Showa Emperor) on the 29th of April, followed by Kenpo Kinenbi (Constitution Day) on 3rd May, Midori no Hi (Greenery Day) on 4th May, and Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day) on 5th May.
Golden Week got its name from the Japanese film industry, which noticed a huge spike in ticket sales during the holidays. These days it’s mostly the travel and tourism industry that enjoys a boost, with an increase in volume of travelers in and out of Japan.
Depending on the year, Showa no Hi could fall on a Friday and the other three days on Tuesday to Thursday. If so, Monday 2nd May and Friday 6th May are also announced as a bridge holidays, to span the gap between the two holidays and the succeeding weekend. This ten-day stretch of consecutive holidays makes it a popular time for the Japanese to go on extended vacations.
Silver Week, on the other hand happens in September, when the Japanese Labor Day and the Autumnal Equinox are just one day apart. When that happens, a bridge holiday is declared by law to link the two together resulting in a three-day holiday. Silver Week however is not as popular as Golden Week because it only happens every six years, when the calendar days align themselves just so.
Still think that the Japanese are workaholics who have to be forced to go on vacation? Think again 😀