Autumnal Equinox in Japan Date in the current year: September 22, 2024

Autumnal Equinox in Japan Autumnal Equinox is a public holiday in Japan. It's celebrated on September 22 or 23. Since equinox may fall on different dates, the exact date of celebration is not announced till February of previous year.

Autumnal Equinox became a public holiday in 1948 as a day to commemorate deceased relatives. However, tradition to celebrate equinox existed in Japan for centuries. The Japanese attended the Shinto shrines of local gods to thank them for a good harvest. The commemorative ceremonies of the deceased emperors and members of their families were held on this day.

After World War II this holiday was changed into its present-day form in order to separate religion and state. The Japanese still attend graves of their relatives, but don't commemorate death of the emperors any more.

The Japanese also visit local temples and shrines, that hold festivals to celebrate the equinox, changing of seasons and the dead, who are offered prayers and incense. Popular temples and shrines are overcrowded on this day.

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