Holidays in Japan 2024 (public and unofficial), exact dates

In this publication, All-Holidays.Info will tell you about holidays in Japan 2024. We will give you the exact dates of official public holidays and unofficial holidays. For some significant dates we will give a short description. When compiling the list of holidays 2024 in Japan, we used reliable and official sources, the law on national holidays and amendments to laws.

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What are Japanese holidays like?

There are two types of holidays in Japan – public and unofficial. On all public holidays, most residents of the country have a day off from work. Schools and other educational institutions are usually closed.

Unofficial holidays are not fixed at the national level. In some prefectures they may be celebrated officially, but this is rare. As a rule, these are traditional events dedicated to historical or religious events. These also include local festivals.

There are also bank holidays in Japan (similar to bank holidays in the United Kingdom). On these dates, most banks and bank branches are closed. Many enterprises and organizations are also closed. In this article about holidays in Japan 2024, we have indicated the dates of all bank holidays this year.

Are holidays postponed in Japan?

According to Japanese law, if a holiday falls on a Sunday, it is moved to the following Monday. Due to this, public holidays in Japan 2024 will be postponed three times. This year the following fell on Sunday:

  • National Founding Day.
  • Children Protection Day.
  • Mountain Day.

Further in the article we will list all the holidays in Japan 2024. We will also indicate the dates to which public holidays that fall on Sunday are transferred.

Holidays in Japan 2024

Listed below are public holidays in Japan and major unofficial holidays and observances. We have added descriptions to some of them. For each significant day, we indicated what type it belongs to.

January 2024

  • January 1, 2024 (Monday) – New Year/bank holiday (bank holiday).
  • January 2, 2024 (Tuesday) – Bank holiday (bank holiday).
  • January 3, 2024 (Wednesday) – Bank holiday (bank holiday).
  • January 8, 2024 (Monday) – Coming of Age Day (national public holiday).

February 2024

  • February 3, 2024 (Saturday) – Setsubun (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • February 11, 2024 (Sunday) – National Foundation Day (national public holiday).
  • February 12, 2024 (Monday) – National Foundation Day Celebration National Foundation Day (national public holiday).*
  • February 14, 2024 (Wednesday) – Valentine’s Day (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • February 23, 2024 (Friday) – Emperor’s Birthday (national public holiday).

* Since National Foundation Day falls on a Sunday, Monday automatically becomes a non-working day.

Emperor’s Birthday is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of the reigning emperor. It used to be celebrated on April 29 to honor the birthday of Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa. Following his passing, the Japanese celebrate the birthday of the current Emperor Naruhito on February 23. On this day, many government agencies, banks, post offices and other businesses are closed. Main public transport runs according to the holiday schedule.

March 2024

  • March 3, 2024 (Sunday) – Hinamatsuri / Doll Festival / Girls’ Festival (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • March 14, 2024 (Thursday) – White Day (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • March 20, 2024 (Wednesday) – Spring Equinox (national public holiday).
  • March 20, 2024 (Wednesday) – Minion Day (unofficial holiday, memorable day).

The Doll Festival, also known as Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri, is held to pray for the health and happiness of young girls. Initially, it was celebrated only by noble families with daughters, but later it spread and became a nationwide tradition.

Families with girls growing up display a hina-dan (a special multi-tiered platform covered with a red carpet) in their homes. Sets of decorative dolls depicting the emperor, empress, confidants and musicians dressed in ancient court clothes are installed on it.

April 2024

  • April 18, 2024 (Thursday) – Invention Day (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • April 23, 2024 (Tuesday) – Children’s Reading Day (unofficial holiday, memorable day).
  • April 29, 2024 (Monday) – Showa Day (national public holiday).

Showa Day is a national holiday in Japan, celebrated on April 29 every year. It commemorates the birthday of Emperor Hirohito, who ruled Japan from 1926 to 1989 during the Showa period (which gives the holiday its name).

Showa Day was established in 2007 to commemorate Japan’s turbulent past and the turbulent times Emperor Hirohito and the country experienced leading up to and during World War II.

May 2024

  • May 3, 2024 (Friday) – Constitution Remembrance Day (national public holiday).
  • May 4, 2024 (Saturday) – Greenery Day (national public holiday).
  • May 5, 2024 (Sunday) – Children’s Day (national public holiday).
  • May 6, 2024 (Monday) – Celebration of Children’s Day (national public holiday).
  • May 9, 2024 (Thursday) – Goku Day (unofficial holiday, memorial day).
  • May 12, 2024 (Sunday) – Mother’s Day (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • May 27, 2024 (Monday) – Dragon Quest Day (unofficial holiday, memorial day).

* Since Children’s Day 2024 falls on a Sunday, the following Monday becomes a non-working day.

June 2024

  • June 5, 2024 (Wednesday) – World Environment Day (unofficial holiday, memorial day).
  • June 10, 2024 (Monday) – Anniversary of Time (unofficial holiday, memorable day).
  • June 23, 2024 (Sunday) – Okinawa Memorial Day (unofficial holiday, memorial day).

Okinawa Memorial Day was established in 1965 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa. It is not a national holiday, but is celebrated in Okinawa. It commemorates the end of the 82-day Battle of Okinawa during World War II. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific campaign. More than 200,000 people died, including more than 100,000 Okinawan civilians.

On this day in 1945, the Japanese army was defeated by the Allied forces, effectively ending the land battle on Okinawa. This marked a major turning point towards Japan’s total defeat in World War II a few months later.

July 2024

  • July 7, 2024 (Sunday) – Star Festival / Tanabata (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • July 15, 2024 (Monday) – Sea Day (national public holiday).
  • July 22, 2024 (Monday) – One Piece Day (unofficial holiday, memorial day).

Sea Day (umi no hi) was founded in 1996 on the initiative of the government. It celebrates the blessings of the ocean and maritime activities, as Japan is an island nation that has historically depended on the ocean for food, trade and development. Essentially, it is a summer celebration of Japan’s connection to the ocean, with a variety of ocean-related recreational activities, trips to the coast, and opportunities to highlight marine conservation.

August 2024

  • August 6, 2024 (Tuesday) – Hiroshima Memorial Day (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • August 9, 2024 (Friday) – Nagasaki Memorial Day (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • August 11, 2024 (Sunday) – Mountain Day (national public holiday).*
  • August 12, 2024 (Monday) – Celebration of Mountain Day (national public holiday).
  • August 14, 2024 (Wednesday) – Happy Summer Valentine (unofficial holiday, memorable day).

* The national holiday “Mountain Day” falls on a Sunday in 2024. Therefore, next Monday becomes a free day from work.

September 2024

  • September 6, 2024 (Friday) – Little Sister’s Day (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • September 13, 2024 (Friday) – Day of the “Fist of the North Star” (unofficial holiday, memorable day).
  • September 16, 2024 (Monday) – Respect for Older Persons Day (national public holiday).
  • September 22, 2024 (Sunday) – Autumn Equinox Day (national public holiday).
  • September 23, 2024 (Monday) – Celebration of the Autumn Equinox (national public holiday).

The autumn equinox is a national holiday in Japan associated with the change of seasons. This is the official astronomical start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, when day and night are of equal length. This seasonal transition has cultural and spiritual significance in Japan.

People often perform recreational activities and rituals to express gratitude for the harvest. They also honor the balance between light and darkness. Common national traditions for celebrating the autumn equinox include: visiting the graves of ancestors, making offerings to deities, and eating seasonal foods. In 2024, this holiday falls on a Sunday, so the following Monday becomes an official non-working day.

October 2024

  • October 1, 2024 (Tuesday) – International Music Day (unofficial holiday, memorial day).
  • October 14, 2024 (Monday) – Sports Day (national public holiday).

November 2024

  • November 1, 2024 (Friday) – Classics Day (unofficial holiday, memorable day).
  • November 3, 2024 (Sunday) – Culture Day (national public holiday).
  • November 4, 2024 (Monday) – Celebration of Culture Day (national public holiday).
  • November 11, 2024 (Monday) – Pocky & Pretz Day (unofficial holiday, memorial day).
  • November 15, 2024 (Friday) – 7-5-3 day (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • November 23, 2024 (Saturday) – Labor Thanksgiving Day (national public holiday).

Labor Thanksgiving Day was originally created in 1948 after World War II. It serves as an occasion to celebrate hard work while enjoying its fruits. Major events are not usually held and the holiday is not celebrated on a national scale. Localities often organize their own ceremonies or dinners the day before Labor Thanksgiving to thank employees for their hard work over the past year. Sometimes bonuses are given out.

December 2024

  • December 1, 2024 (Sunday) – Cinema Day (unofficial holiday, memorable day).
  • December 25, 2024 (Wednesday) – Christmas (unofficial, non-state holiday).
  • 31 December 2024 (Tuesday) – New Year’s Eve / Bank Holiday (Bank Holiday).

In this publication, we covered the following topic: holidays in Japan 2024. We provided the exact dates of public and unofficial Japanese holidays. Find more information about holidays and school holidays in different countries on All-Holidays.Info. We hope this information helped you. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends!