Celebrating our Elders

You may already know that Japanese culture promotes a deep respect for the elderly, but did you know there is a national holiday to celebrate the aged in Japan? It’s called Keiro No Hi, and it is celebrated every third Monday of September, which is September 16th this year.

Keiro No Hi dates back to 1947 when the first “Old Folks Day” or Toshiyori No Hi was celebrated in  Hyōgo Prefecture. As its popularity spread throughout the country the Japanese government decided to make the celebration an official national holiday in the tradition of Happy Monday (which is the Japanese custom that gives workers a three-day weekend where possible) in 1966.

While there is no specific way to celebrate Keiro No Hi, many people buy gifts or prepare a special dinner for the elderly in their family and bring food or other necessities to the elderly in their neighborhoods. The holiday is meant to remind people to pay respect to their elders and thank them for their years of service to the community.

Even though Morikami will be closed on the official day of Keiro No Hi, why not tell the older people in your life how much you appreciate them a day early or a day late? Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the garden, soak in the beauty of our current exhibits and grab lunch at the Cornell Café. We would love to be the host of your personal Keiro No Hi, and we hope you’ll join us in saying thank you to all those who have given their guidance and wisdom through the years.

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