What's TODAY?

National Foundation Day/建国記念の日-What’s TODAY?-no.2-

This article can be read in about 4 minutes.

Miyazaki shrine where Emperor Jinmu and his parents are enshrined

Japan’s National Foundation Day falls on February 11th.
It’s because the first emperor, EmperorJinmu, was said to ascend to the throne on February 11th, 660 B.C.

According to A Record of Ancient Matters, Emperor Jinmu was a descendant of the sun goddess “Amaterasu-ohmikami/天照大御神.”   
Amaterasu’s grandson “Ninigi-no-mikoto/瓊瓊杵尊” got married with the god of the mountains and his son got married with the god of the oceans.
Since Emperor Jimmu was the great grandchild of Ninigi-no-mikoto, he was recognized as the legitimate heir who had the power to get along with the sun, the mountains and the oceans.
Since Japan is an agricultural country, the characteristic of being able to get along with nature was very important around that time.

This year (2021) is the 2,681st year of the Imperial Era in Japan. 
This makes the Empire of Japan the longest existing kingdom in the world.

What do Japanese people do on National Foundation Day?

Shinto ceremonies are held at shrines across the country. The locals celebrate it by raising our national flag in front of the gate or along the street, as well as having events.

One of the famous events is a parade held  in Tokyo. Its route, which is around 4 kilometers long, starts from Meiji Jingu Outer Garden on  Gingko Ave. and ends at the Meiji Shrine.
Marching bands, cheerleading and fife-and-drum bands show their performances along the streets.

The most attractive part is the portable shrines with deities. The shrines are carried during the parade so that it would seem like the deities are looking around the area. Around 6,000 people from kindergarteners to adult usually attend the event. 

How do you celebrate your country’s national foundation day? Share with us how you celebrate this holiday in your country in the comments section below.

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