Today marks the first official “Mountain Day”, a new public holiday in Japan, to celebrate and give reverence to….you guessed it…. mountains! This is a welcome addition to August, since there weren’t any public holidays this month, bringing the total to an exceptional 16 public holidays a year.
Why this date?
Since the Kanji for “eight” (August being the 8th month) looks somewhat like the sides of a mountain, 八, and the roman numeral 11 looks kinda, sorta like two trees, they decided to combine those two aspects of nature and make August 11th Mountain Day.
Japan, being a mountainous country, has quite a few mountains for nature-lovers to enjoy, so as one of the top geographical features of this country, mountains have a somewhat revered status in Japan, with Mt Fuji being the most revered one in the entire country.
So everyone knows about this new Holiday?
Not exactly. Since its a new holiday starting this year, about a third of the population had never heard of it. I do think most people appreciate having the extra holiday though.
Early estimates seem to suggest that the new holiday will possibly be responsible for an extra 820 Billion Yen ($8bn; €7bn) in spending. This is due to an expected increase in sales of hiking/camping gear, increased travel (especially to mountainous areas) during this holiday, and of course an increase in food and beverage sales.
So go out, leave your Pokemon Go characters for a day, get back to your Line messages later, and just enjoy the splendid nature that mountainous areas provide, in honour of Mountain Day. Have a great one, everyone!