Happy “Seijin No Hi” Coming of Age Day

Today is a national holiday in Japan called Seijin no Hi (pronounced: say-jin-no-he), which literally translates to Day of Becoming Adult – otherwise known as Coming of Age Day.  It occurs every second Monday of January and is a celebration for men and women who have turned 20 years old in the past year.  Now a days, 19-year-old “adults” sometimes participate in the festivities as well.

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In the morning, each local government holds a ceremony for the 19 and 20 year olds.  Typically, their families don’t attend these ceremonies and it isn’t required.  Although traditional outfits are still very popular, more western dress is becoming more common especially among men.  Similar to prom, women will often spend the morning at a beauty salon to get their hair and makeup intricately done.  Many of those salons will also help them to dress in their kimonos.  Men will often wear kimonos or the more western suit.

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For the rest of the day, these adults hit the city and hang out with their friends.  Disneyland offers free admission for 20 year olds  today and holds special festivities and events.  Although it is an overall enjoyable day for friends to get together and celebrate their adulthood, it has also become infamous in some areas.  Many “adults” hit the streets and cause trouble such as starting fights, small riots, and general disorderly conduct.  For people in Japan of all other ages, it’s a national holiday to relax from the 3 hard and long days of work last week.

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