Respect for the Aged Day

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Respect for the Aged Day
Official nameKeirō no hi (敬老の日)
Observed byJapan
SignificanceHonor elderly citizens
DateThird Monday in September
2019 dateSeptember 16  (2019-09-16)
2020 dateSeptember 21  (2020-09-21)
2021 dateSeptember 20  (2021-09-20)
2022 dateSeptember 19  (2022-09-19)

Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日, Keirō no Hi) is a Japanese designated public holiday celebrated annually to honor elderly citizens.[1] It started in 1966 as a national holiday and was held on every September 15. Since 2003, Respect for the Aged Day is held on the third Monday of September due to the Happy Monday System.

This national holiday traces its origins to 1947, when Nomadani-mura (later Yachiyo-cho, currently Taka-cho), Hyōgo Prefecture, proclaimed September 15 Old Folks' Day (Toshiyori no Hi). Its popularity spread nationwide, and in 1966 it took its present name and status. Annually, Japanese media take the opportunity to feature the elderly, reporting on the population and highlighting the oldest people in the country.

Commemorative silver sake cups[edit]

Since 1963, the Japanese government has given a commemorative silver sake cup to Japanese who reach the age of 100. In 1963 the number was 153, but with numbers increasing, the government decided to reduce the size of the cup to cut costs in 2009.[2] In 2014 29,357 received a cup.[3] The cost increase from this led to the government considering making the cups from a different material or simply sending a letter.[4]


On this holiday, people return home to visit and pay respect to the elders. Some people volunteer in neighborhoods by making and distributing free lunch boxes to older citizens. Entertainments are sometimes provided by teenagers and children with various keirokai performances. Special television programs are also featured by Japanese media on this holiday.


  1. ^ Amy Chavez (2 September 2008). "What is Respect for the Aged Day?". Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2008.
  2. ^ "Ageing Japan cuts cost of 100th birthday gifts". Reuters. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  3. ^ Elahe Izadi (21 August 2015). "Japan has so many super old people that it can't afford to give them special sake cups anymore". Washington Post. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  4. ^ Joanna Plucinska (20 August 2015). "Japan Can't Afford to Give Centenarians Gifts Anymore Because There Are Too Many of Them". Time Magazine. Retrieved 26 September 2015.

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