Google Doodle Celebrates Keirō no Hi, a Day of Respect for Elders
Today's Google Doodle pays tribute to Respect for the Aged Day, known as Keirō no Hi or 敬老の日 in Japanese. This special day, celebrated on the third Monday of every September, holds a deep cultural significance in Japan.
The roots of Respect for the Aged Day trace back to a small village in the Hyōgo Prefecture in 1947 when it first observed 'Old Folks Day.' The idea resonated with communities across Japan, leading to the declaration of Respect for the Aged Day as a national holiday in 1966.
While this holiday may be relatively new, the concept of respecting the elderly is ingrained in Japanese culture. The honorific system of speech known as keigo is a common practice, demonstrating respect when addressing those older than oneself. Today, it's a day dedicated to honoring the wisdom and life experiences of older individuals.
People in Japan celebrate Respect for the Aged Day in various ways. Many visit their parents, grandparents, and other relatives to share a meal, offer gifts, or simply spend quality time together. Volunteers play their part by distributing free bento-box lunches to elderly neighbors, while the government gifts a silver-plated sake cup to centenarians who reached the milestone in the year leading up to the holiday.
The media also plays a role in celebrating this day, with television programs dedicated to interviewing some of the country's oldest citizens about their life experiences and tips for maintaining a long and healthy life. Schoolchildren join in the festivities as well, performing songs and dances at Keirokai ceremonies, showcasing their youthful vitality.
On Respect for the Aged Day, it's a tradition to express gratitude to the elders in one's life for their valuable advice, life lessons, and captivating stories. So, if you have an older person in your life, don't forget to show your appreciation today.
Happy Respect for the Aged Day, Japan!