22 July 2012

Marine Day

A beach on Chigasaki, the nearest one to my place.
Never been there yet and I probably won't ever be able to go.
Photo from Wikipedia.
Last Monday was Marine Day here in Japan, a national holiday. This year, it was on July 16. I totally forgot about it this time, but now I know why one of my meetings were scheduled for July 17 (Tuesday) and not July 16.

Anyway, the Japanese for "Marine Day" is "Umi no hi," which literally translates to "Day of the ocean/sea." Or Ocean Day or Sea Day. The holiday was instituted to commemorate the Meiji Emperor and his 1876 voyage on the Meiji-Maru, an iron steamship constructed in England in 1874. In 1995, it became a national holiday (i.e. no work and no school!) as a day of gratitude for the blessings of the oceans and to hope for the economic prosperity of maritime Japan. Until 1996, it was known as "Marine Memorial Day," and celebrated on July 20. From 2003, it has been celebrated on the 3rd Monday of July to follow the "Happy Monday Holiday System," which is similar to the practice in the Philippines were national holidays are moved to Mondays, to create a three-day, long, holiday weekend.

Source: Wikipedia.

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