What is the "Silver Week" in Japan?
The Silver Week is a new Japanese term, it is a string of consecutive holidays in autumn. It is the opposite of the Golden Week, which I have already written about (here´s the blog post ). The Golden Week is basically several Japanese holidays happening annually from the end of April to the beginning of May. But there are differences between these special weeks. Unlike Golden Week, the Silver Week does not necessarily happen every year. There are two national holidays in September, and if they line up correctly, it will result in Silver Week. And those two holidays that take place are "Respect for the Aged Day" and "Autumnal Equinox Day".
Respect for the Aged Day is a day to show respect to elderly people and celebrate their long life. On this day, people often send gifts or cards to their grandparents. In Japan, the term "Silver age" is commonly used to refer to the elderly. It is said that this is another reason why the week is called Silver Week.
Autumnal Equinox Day is a day when day and night have the same length from the view point of astronomy. But, according to Buddhism, the period of seven days with this holiday as the middle day is for people to honor their ancestors and deceased families. So, people often visit their ancestors´ grave on this holiday.