No Country for Old Holidays.

For decades 23 December has been a public holiday in Japan because it was the emperor’s birthday. It was especially nice as a little final water station on the marathon working year in Japan. However, this year saw the end of that emperor’s reign and the beginning of a new era.

As a result, the public holiday will now shift from Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s birthday to that of his son Emperor Naruhito. That kind of sucks, but it’s part and parcel with the changing times. Still, the really crappy part of it all is that many people in Japan might not realize it’s no longer a holiday because it’s still printed on everyone’s calendar.

▼ “23 December, 2019 – Heisei Emperor’s Birthday”

At best, it’s just rubbing the lost freedom in our faces, and at worst it could be actually leading some unfortunate people into mistakenly taking the day off and suffering the consequences. It’s enough to make you say, “WTF calendar?! You used to be cool.”

We can’t really blame the calendar companies for this though. At the time of this announcement, we were all so caught up in the pageantry and fancy hamburgers that we had forgotten about the calendar makers who struggled with the fact that no details about holidays were confirmed as of the printing deadline.

So the National Calendar Publishing Cooperative Association made a multilateral decision to include both the former and proposed holidays on 2019 calendars. However, Heisei Emperor’s Birthday (23 December), Enthronement Days (30 April, 1 May), and the Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor at the Seiden (22 October), all had the numbers marked in black ink rather than the standard red ink used for public holidays.

▼ Enthronement Day

▼ Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor at the Seiden

Now, to calendar industry insiders with their keen calendrical senses, that might seem like a significant change, but for schlubs like me? Well, prior to hearing about this I could have sworn the “23” on my own calendar was red.

▼ What the hell?! Now I don’t know whether Mandella is alive or not anymore?

While not quite as stinging as having Labor Day on a Saturday, getting this holiday plucked away certainly doesn’t feel nice. On the bright side, the next Emperor’s Birthday holiday isn’t too far away when it lands on 23 February, 2020 for the first time.

In the meantime, hard workers in Japan should be careful not to accidentally take next Monday off, and lazy folk should remember this convenient excuse to skip work. However, doing so wouldn’t make you look like the sharpest tool in the shed either. You may want to stick your belly in the air and call in sick instead.

Source: Cabinet Office, National Calendar Publishing Cooperative Association
Photos ©SoraNews24
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