Monday, January 11, 2010

Coming of Age Day in Japan

Today is Coming of Age Day in Japan (Seijin no hi). It is held annually on the second Monday in January. It is held to congratulate all those who have officially become adults by reaching the age of 20. Big ceremonies are held at city halls. After-parties are popular and alcohol is usually flowing as it's the first time they can legally drink (smoke and vote).

In comparison, the legal age for an adult in the United States is 18. But we must wait until we are 21 before we can legally drink alcohol. Another big difference is that bars in America are very strict about letting anyone enter who is under 21. They generally "card" (check ID) anyone who looks under 30. So I was getting carded until just a few years ago, JK! :)

In Japan, many women celebrate by wearing a kimono with long sleeves. Properly putting on a kimono is an art that must be studied and most young women must visit a beauty salon to dress and to set their hair.

I like this day because it's fun to see young people wearing kimono and having a good time. The main reason I like this day though is because it's a national holiday. Here are pictures of my student Ri-chan y Senorita Wakana.