Monday, January 12, 2009

Seijin No Hi (Coming of Age)

Today, the Coming of Age festival is celebrated. This is a national holiday that is celebrated on the second Monday of January (it used to be celebrated always on January 15 until the year 1999).

All young people who turn twenty years old in that year are celebrated on Seijin no hi. Twenty is the age considered as the beginning of adulthood. It is also the minimum legal age to vote, drink, smoke, and have their crimes announced in public.

Celebrations (for boys and girls) are held nationwide in every town with most of the people turning 20 participating in formal attire. For the women, the day means getting decked out in a special kimono called "furisode", which has longer sleeves and is brightly colored with elaborate patterns. Most of these furisodes are rented as these kimonos cost several thousand dollars and even renting one cost around $1,000.

We unfortunately didn't get to a temple today to see the festivities but did see some women dressed up and they looked beautiful!

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