Health and Sports Day in Japan Date in the current year: October 10, 2016

Health and Sports Day in Japan Health and Sports Day (Taiiku no Hi) is a Japanese public holiday celebrated on the second Monday in October. It was established in 1966 to promote sports and a healthy lifestyle. The original date of the holiday was October 10, but in 2000 it was moved to create a long weekend.

This date was chosen to commemorate the opening of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The 1964 Summer Games were held unusually late to avoid summer humidity and heat and the typhoon season of September.

Japan's Health and Sports Day, also referred to simply as Sports Day, focuses on promoting health (both mental and physical) and sports. On this day, many schools and offices organize their field days, encouraging students/employees to engage in competitive sporting activities. Most popular activities include track and field events (races and relays), tug of war, and kiba-sen (a field variant of chicken fight).

The celebration of Sports Day resembles a mini Olympics. It begins in the morning with a colorful parade featuring all participants and sometimes a marching band. Competitions last for the entire day (with a lunch break). In the evening, the awarding ceremony is held. Winners usually receive small prizes, typically something useful for the household.

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