Labor Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in Japan on 23rd November to honor the labor force
Labor Thanksgiving Day
Labor Thanksgiving Day, Kinro-kasha-no-hi in Japanese, is a popular festival in Japan. It is observed every year on 23rd November. This celebration has been derived from ancient tradition of Shinto harvest festival which was celebrated by kings to thank for bountiful harvest. On the occasion of Shinto harvest festival, also called as Niinamesai, the emperor makes offering of fresh harvested rice to God or Kami Spirit and then goes to savor himself of the grain. The origin of Niinamesai can be traced back to 678 A.D. The written records of Nihon Shoki reveal that Niinamesai was held on 23 November during the period of Meiji era and was celebrated throughout the country. However, in modern age, it took new meaning to honor labor force. The tradition of celebrating Labor Thanksgiving Day first started in 1948 , after the second World War, and since been observed every year by the people of Japan.
Labor Thanksgiving Day
- The practice of celebrating Labor Thanksgiving Day began after the Second World War. In 1948, Japanese government declared 23 November as Labor Thanksgiving Day. It was started to honor the fundamental rights of laborers who were strong force in manufacturing units in this industrialized country.
- Labor Thanksgiving Day is the day when citizens honor the labour and pay tribute to workers for toiling hard work all through the year and thank them for the produce of their labor.
- Those in service make it a point to present a box of sweets and chocolates fellow workers and supervisors.
- Of late, people have started to recognize the labor that women out in household work.
- On this day, people organize numerous events in all parts of the country - the most popular being Nagano Labor Festival. The event particularly focuses on the significance of human rights, peace and environment. Most of the events are being sponsored and facilitated by local labor organizations. They reflect upon issues concerning public and call for development for greater benefit of the society.
- Children especially primary students engage in hand drawing or art and craft activities on this day. These produce of little hands are being presented to the zonal police officers as a token of honor for ensuring safety in the locality.
- In some of the towns and cities, public parades are held where as others hold peaceful demonstration.
- Quite contrary to Thanksgiving Day celebration in the US where people get together and indulge in lavish feasting with family and friends, Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan is more a day for rest and paying tribute to labor force. People take a rest and catch up with recreation - watching Television and playing indoor games.
- Even though the tradition of Niiname-sai is no longer observed by general public, it is still being observed by royal family of Japan in private on Labor Thanksgiving Day.