Coming of age day
Coming of age day, or "seijin no hi (成人の日)" in Japanese, is a national holiday in Japan. It comes on the second Monday of January. On this holiday, there are ceremonies called "seijin shiki" which celebrate the people who have turned 20 years old during the year. People in Japan consider that one has reached adulthood at that age. "Seijin" means "to become an adult" and "shiki" means ceremony. There are some regions where the ceremony is not on that day because of heavy snow fall or other reasons.
What is the coming of age ceremony like?
The ceremony is usually held at local city halls. So people who are invited to the ceremony (those who have turned or will turn 20 from April 2nd of the previous year to April 1st of that year) can see their old friends with who they went to kindergarten, elementary school, and junior high school with.
There are some special things which you can only see on the day of the coming of age ceremony!
Most girls wear the traditional clothes called "furisode" for the ceremony. It is very colorful and each furisode has different beautiful motifs. They usually wake up very early to have their hair and clothes done.
For boys, they usually wear a suit with a nice tie, but some of them wear a Japanese traditional "hakama".
Drinking parties are usually held after the ceremony and sometimes last all the night. It's a rare occasion for people to see former classmates so they make the most of it by drinking together and having fun. Also, by Japanese law, people get the right to drink from 20, so for many, this is one of the first time they can enjoy drinking alcohol among friends at an izakaya.
The coming of age day and ceremony is, of course, very exciting for those who attend but also interesting for other people. Keep an eye open for these people wearing beautiful kimonos. You should see these unique Japanese customs!