Silver Week is Here

Thanks to Japanese law, I have lots of time to be lazy this week.

Monday is Respect for the Aged day. This is the day when everyone is expected to call their grandparents and/or parents and wish them love and respect. It used to move around, but now, thanks to a Happy Monday system designed to increase the number of national holidays, it takes place on the third Monday in September. Wednesday is Autumnal Equinox when everyone is expected to, well, be happy it’s Autumn and not August.

That leaves Tuesday.

Luckily, Japanese law says that when two holidays are separated by only one work day, that work day becomes a “People’s Day” to honor the people who were going to take the day off anyway. That means we are now enjoying a very rare five day weekend in September. This configuration occurs every five to six to 11 years or so. The last one last occurred in 2009 and the next one will occur in 2020.

This configuration is dubbed “Silver Week” in honor of/contrast to Golden Week when four national holidays occur in the same week.

Golden Week is traditionally the time when Japanese sneak away for short trips. If the holidays fall right, they can use a couple paid holidays to get eight days off to party and do some travelling. Because they’ve already done that, it’s hard to sneak away from the office for another week in September. Silver Week thus becomes more of a shopping time.

Oddly, both She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are working this week. She’ll be on her regular schedule and I will work tomorrow as a substitute teacher for a six hour English intensive class.

Starting Monday, I’ll end up babysitting for a few days, but since the weather is suddenly cool and dry, I may take the girls (or perhaps just our youngest depending on our oldest’s schedule) to a movie. Or, we’ll just sit around and do nothing.

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