2020 is the year of the Rat. The Rat is the first animal of the repeating 12-year cycle in the Chinese and Japanese zodiac. It is said that the Rat year is the year of chaos with many changes, which actually occurred. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed our general lifestyle. We needed to adjust both our minds and lives themselves.
Let’s see what happened in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan, together with some Japanese annual events.
2020 = The Second Year of Reiwa Era
1 – 3 OSHOUGATSU = Japanese New Year Holiday
13 SEIJIN NO HI = Coming of Age Day, when all those turning 20 celebrated being new adults.
Happy New Year in Japan. We had
beautiful days during our new year’s holiday. Many people started to work in
2020 on Monday, the 6th of January. The rumor about this strange flu-like
disease was started spreading around this time.
3 SETSUBUN = The day to celebrate the coming of spring by throwing roasted beans
11 KENKOKU KINEN BI = National Foundation Day
23 The REIWA Emperor’s Birthday
Masks, toilet paper, thermometers, even rice started to be gone at stores, people making long queues to get them.
3 HINA MATSURI = Dolls’ Festival / Girls’ Festival
20 SHUNBUN NO HI = Spring Equinox Day
Some travelers still found in Tokyo, even people newly entered from overseas, including China. Most people in Japan knew about the Coronavirus but did not seem to take it seriously.
End of April to Beginning of May = Golden Week Holiday
The Japanese government officially announced that we stay home, Japan going into a mild-lockdown nationwide. Many shops, stores, restaurants, schools closed but transport.
3 KENPOU KINEN BI = Constitution Day
4 MIDORI NO HI = Greenery Day
5 KODOMO NO HI = Children’s Day
10 HAHA NO HI = Mother’s Day
Japan started a long holiday together with the annual long golden week holiday and kept telling us to stay home. It is the time that the Blue Impulse Japan Air Self-Defense Force Acrobatic Team flew over central Tokyo’s blue sky to show respect and appreciation to all medical workers fighting against the Covid19.
21 CHICHI NO HI = Father’s Day
Gradually people were back to the cities. Some schools, shops, and stores were still closed.
7 TANABATA = Star Festival
23 UMI NO HI = Marine Day
24 SUPORTS NO HI = Sport’s day
The 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo was planned to begin on July 24, but as everybody knew, it had to be rescheduled for 2021 July.
The government announced starting a GOTO travel campaign under limited conditions. They encouraged people to go travel to spend money in the market. It was a month with lots of rain.
Middle August Obon season
Less people moved to visit the graves during Obon season this year. Needed careful consideration of the joyful family reunion event this summer. The 2020 Olympics were supposed to close on 23 and start the 2020 Paralympics on 25. Many local festivals, such as BONODORI (dancing), MATSURI (festivals), and HANABI (fireworks) needed to stop due to the virus. The hot summer came as usual, and Tokyo seemed to be recovering day by day.
21 KEIROU NO HI = The day to show respect for the elderly
22 SYUUBUN NO HI = Autumn Equinox Day
Typhoon season arrived as happens every year. People tired of self-restraint so started to go out gradually. Sadly, this month’s long holiday triggered the 2nd crisis of COVID19.
October is the only month that does not have significant holidays and national events. No national holidays in October as usual, very sad.
Followed by the GOTO travel campaign, the government started a GOTO eat campaign, while the number of patients began to increase again. Halloween event was downsized in the nation.
3 BUNKA NO HI = Cultural Day
15 SHICHI GO SAN = Child Festival to celebrate their growth
23 KINRO KANSYA NO HI = Labor Thanksgiving Day
The number of patients kept increasing this month too. The nation was experiencing a kind of lockdown burnout.
31 OOMISOKA = New Year’s Eve
The COVID-19 is at a critical stage, even may call a new emergency stage, but people seem to carry on with their everyday lives. We all are waiting for vaccines and finding the cures as of Dec 5. It is said that the impact of the Coronavirus was minimal compared to other countries, but it was not obviously small at all, as it has affected the economy, politics, people’s daily lives seriously.
The year of 2020 undoubtedly swayed by the crisis of Covid19, but “everything that has a beginning has an ending.” Keep your hopes up.
Japantotheworld.com wishes you all happiness, good luck, and normal lives in 2021!!
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