Emperor’s Birthday, 天皇の誕生日 (tenno- no tanjyoubi)
The Emperor’s Birthday is a national holiday in Japan that is celebrated on December 23rd. The date is determined by the reigning Emperor’s birthdate who was born on this date in 1933, and the holiday has been observed on that date since 1989 when Emperor Akihito acceded the Imperial Palace.
On the occasion, the gates of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo are opened to the public and the Emperor, the Empress, and many other members of the Imperial family appear on the balcony of the palace to receive birthday congratulations and to greet the crowd.
The Emperor’s Birthday is one of only two holidays during the year when the public may enter the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace (the other being New Year’s Day).
Photo courtesy: Jennifer Yamamoto
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