Coming of Age Day

On the second Monday of January, young people in Japan celebrate “Coming of Age Day”.  This day is called seijin no hi in Japanese.  People who have turned 20 years old from April 2nd in the previous year until April 1st of the current year become adults.  Most young people dress up in suits, dresses, or traditional kimonos called furisode.  They listen to a speech at the local city hall.  Everyone takes many photographs with their friends.  Young people meet their classmates from when they were in high school.  It is a very happy event.  At night, many young people go out drinking or eating with friends.


People in Japan have celebrated becoming adults since the 8th century.  Long ago, the age of adulthood was much lower than 20 years old.  Boys in Japan used to cut their hair and carry a sword on their 15th birthdays.  Some girls celebrated becoming adults when they turned 13 years old.  In 1876, the official age of adulthood became 20 years old.  In 1948, Coming of Age Day became an official national holiday.  Until 2000, it was celebrated on January 15th each year.  It was switched to the second Monday of January so people can enjoy a long weekend.