About a week ago, a week of holiday called “Golden Week” ended in Japan. But this time, instead of just a week of vacation, “Golden Week” lasted 10 days. Why? Let me explain.
To understand this, you must understand that the Emperor of Japan, Emperor Akihito, retired, making Crown Prince Naruhito the new emperor. This hasn’t happened happened since 1815, because all the other emperors’ monarch term did not end until they died.
This means they knew when the new year will start, so they could schedule holidays for that occasion.
Crown Prince Naruhito’s coronation will begin a brand new era and a reset of the traditional Japanese calendar.
Golden Week in Japan represents an annual string of holidays from April 29 to early May. With the emperor’s abdication scheduled for April 29 and his son’s ascension to the throne the next day, May 1 became a national holiday.
With this — for one year only — the gaps in the Golden Week schedule were filled out with extra holidays (by Japanese law, any day sandwiched between two national holidays also becomes a holiday) to provide a grand total of 10 days off in a row!
Now, most people in America or any other country would most likely be happy for this long of a break. But not so much in Japan.
Many people were actually against this 10-day break. They said it was too long. But what’s bad about a long holiday? Well, this is what some people thought:
“The ridiculous idea of the century,” complained one man. “Only rich people are delighted. Don’t give us 10 consecutive holidays.”
“If it was the government who decided on a 10-day holiday, they should think about people in the service sector who can’t take leave,” another woman wrote. “I wish they would at least raise wages during the holidays.”
Yes, workers in some stores and businesses didn’t get a day off. They had to work harder, for a longer time, and didn’t get extra pay.
But some people (mostly women) in households complained too.
One woman complained that her husband laid around the house doing nothing, and her children messed up the living room, complaining all day that they were hungry. They couldn’t afford to go on vacation to somewhere else, so they had to stay at their home.
So, what do you think of the consecutive ten-day break? If you live in Japan, did you like it, or did you think it was unnecessary? Or if you live someplace else, how would you react to it? What do you think of the people’s reactions in Japan?
I, personally had a great break (as I explained in my post on Tottori), and I’m grateful for it! 🙂