Keiro no Hi (Respect for the Elderly Day) is a new holiday in Japan. Every year on the third Monday in September, a day is set aside to celebrate the elderly and show our gratitude for the knowledge they have given us.

A celebrant of the holiday usually meets one of the following requirements: must be retired from work, 70 or 80 years old, or have at least one grandchild. Respect for the Aged Day always falls on a Monday, so most people have a long weekend. This is an excellent time to plan family gatherings. While many people spend time with their loved ones and go out to dinner, there are also those who send flowers, seasonal delights like beer gift baskets or Japanese sweets, or simply call to let them know they’re always on their mind. It’s also an opportunity for people without many relatives to volunteer in our communities or in nursing homes.

Let’s celebrate this special day with those who taught us how to grow!