Silver Week (シルバーウィーク Shirubā Wīku?) is a new Japanese term applied to a string of consecutive holidays in September. In 2009, the term gained popularity, referring to the unusual occurrence that year of a weekend followed by three Japanese public holidays in September. The holidays were:
- Respect for the Aged Day, third Monday of September
- Autumnal Equinox Day, astronomically determined, but usually September 23
- Kokumin no kyūjitsu, the day in between the two other holidays
Japanese law stipulates that if there is only one non-holiday in between two public holidays, that day should become an additional holiday, known as a Kokumin no kyūjitsu (lit. Citizens' Holiday). It is unusual for September to get this extra holiday, so the presence of a "silver week" wasn't widely noted before 2009. In Japanese pseudo-anglicism, "silver" is a commonly used, polite adjective for referring to the elderly, deriving from their gray hair. More probably, however, the term "silver week" refers to the second rank after the more famous "Golden Week". The holiday period is sometimes used for foreign travel.
Prior to 2009, a different definition of Silver Week referred to the days in the second half of November around the time of Labour Thanksgiving Day, or during the first week of November by another source. Historians have identified Silver Week itself as a commercial invention of the 1950s film industry, keen to promote cinema attendance during the holiday by reference to the popularity of leisure pursuits during the better-established Golden Week, yet another invention of the Japanese film industry. However, this older definition of Silver Week did not catch on nor did it make it to some dictionaries.
The five-day break occurs in the following years:
- September 19 – September 23: 2009, 2015, 2026, 2037, 2043, 2054, 2071, 2099
- September 18 – September 22: 2032, 2049, 2060, 2077, 2088, 2094
- Google Trends - シルバーウィーク
- Dingeman, Robbie (27 August 2009). "Hawaii visitor arrivals up 1.3%". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
- "Fewer overseas tourists visit Korea over summer". Joong Ang Daily. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
- 小林信彦『物情騒然。 人生は五十一から』文藝春秋、2002年、p91-p92
- Phillips, Alastair (2007). Japanese cinema: texts and contexts. Taylor and Francis. p. 165. ISBN 0-415-32848-9.
- ゴールデンウィーク - 語源由来辞典
- Yahoo! Dictionary - no entry found for シルバーウィーク