Emperor’s Birthday: December 23
Emperor’s Birthday is a public holiday in Japan.
The Emperor’s Birthday is a national holiday in Japan and is celebrated on the day of birth of the current emperor. Currently it’s celebrated on December 23, the birthday of Emperor Akihito, who was born in 1933.
History of Emperor’s Birthday in Japan
In 1948, the Emperor’s Birthday was established as a moveable national holiday, dependent on the incumbent emperor’s birth date. Japan’s emperor is considered a symbol of the state and of unity in Japan.
The present emperor is named Akihito and was born in December 23, 1933. He is the 125th emperor of Japan and ascended to the throne in 1989. Akihito is the eldest son of late Emperor Showa. He married Empress Michiko on April 10, 1959 and had three children. As emperor, he has been known for his several apologies in the name of Japan for the country’s participation in World War II.
Japan’s Emperor’s Birthday Traditions, Customs and Activities
On December 23, there are public celebratory ceremonies organized at the Imperial Palace. The Emperor’s Birthday is one of only two days during the year that the Imperial Palace is open to the public, the other being January 2. The emperor and empress, as well as other members of the royal family, appear at the balcony of the palace to welcome all those that come to the celebrations. Everyone that gathers in the palace greets the emperor with Japanese flags and cheers of banzai. Since there are many visitors during this time, visitors may be placed in groups before entering the palace grounds. The emperor and empress will then greet each group as they enter and leave the grounds.