Keiro no Hi (Respect for the Elderly Day) is a relatively new holiday in Japan. It’s a day set aside each year on the third Monday in September to honor the elderly and show our appreciation for the wisdom and experience they have given us.

Although the “starting age” for Keiro no Hi is not clearly defined, 60 is currently thought to be a little too young to be celebrated. A celebrant with silver hair usually meets one of three criteria: they are permanently retired from work, are at least 70 or 80 years old, or have at least one grandchild. The majority of people have a long weekend since Respect for the Aged Day always falls on a Monday, making it a perfect time to organize family get-togethers. While many individuals try to spend time with their loved ones and go out to dinner, there are also many who send flowers, seasonal treats like Japanese sweets or beer gift packs, or simply call to let them know they are in their thoughts. It’s also an opportunity for those without many relatives to help in nursing homes or in our communities.

As the name suggests, it’s a time to give thanks to the older generations. Let’s celebrate this special day with those who made growth possible for us!