If you are 20 years old then you will be having your coming of age ceremony tomorrow. In some places it has already happened, but the official day this year is January 8th, and it is a national holiday.
Many congratulations to all of you who are celebrating your 20th birthday; I think it is a wonderful thing to celebrate it all over Japan at the same time, and it seems very nice to have a formal ceremony as you enter adulthood.
But I have two questions, please help me.
Why is this ceremony in January? Why is it a national holiday?
It’s the middle of winter and many places in Japan are covered in snow and freezing cold, it doesn’t seem a good time to enjoy wearing beautiful kimono and hakama.
And many people who celebrate their 20th birthday are 19 years old. Everyone whose birthday is between January 9th and March 31st will be 19 on coming of age day. Can they drink alcohol at the party? Since they are not yet 20 years old drinking alcohol is illegal. So what happens at the party? Do many of those who are 20 get drunk, while those who are 19 sit and drink orange juice and oolong tea?
And why is it a national holiday? I guess it’s good that the whole of Japan has a holiday for the small number who are 20 years old, but I feel that it is probably less trouble to have it on Sunday rather than Monday, in fact I saw many people celebrating today, Sunday.
My own suggestion is to have this celebration on the first Sunday in April. Then everyone will be 20. Then the weather will be warmer. Then most 20 year olds who are still students will be in their hometown. And then you can drink alcohol under the cherry blossom.