The above title is a translation of a very important day in Japan that is celebrated every third Monday of September. This year it falls on the 18th - today. Although, you may be tempted to confuse this holiday with National Grandparents Day which is in early September and observed in various countries, it is different in a few key ways. This isn’t just a ‘call up your parent’s parents when you have a second to talk and pat yourself on the back’ kind of day. (Although, we do hope you called up your grandparents on the 10th and had a good conversation.)
For Keiro no Hi, select communities in Japan hold celebrations with festivities and gifts that honor all people 60 and older for their contributions to others thus far and, of course, for making it to senior citizen status. Although, it must be noted that as people live longer the age requirement has been moved up to 65 in many places. However, if you are old enough, you will get thoughtful things such as commemorative gifts, free food, and organized entertainment put on by locals. In fact, if you’ve made it to 100 years old, the Japanese government gifts you with a small, flat, silver-plated saucer used for drinking Japanese distilled liquor. This is incredibly generous and we’re very unlikely to see something like this elsewhere, however, perhaps as communities, we should come together and show some respect for our elders who have so much wisdom to pass on.
Whatever you decide to do for special days like today, just remember that your grandparents are people too – and most of them having amazing stories if you only take the time to sit and listen. Don’t just ignore them until a random day tells you to make contact. You don’t want your own family to have to rent a friend, do you?