When is Coming of Age Day?
The Coming of Age festival is celebrated on the second Monday in January. Until 1999, it used to be celebrated on January 15th.
The day honors young Japanese who will reach the age of 20 at any point during the year. Twenty is the age of majority in Japan, and people who have reached this age gain the right to vote in elections as well as to drink.
Local governments usually have a ceremony known as a seijin shiki (adult ceremony) to honor the "new adults". The ceremony is held in the morning and all of the young peopke who live in the area are invited to attend. Government officials give speeches, and small gifts are handed out to the new adults.
Women celebrate the day by donning special kimonos in which the sleeves are long as compared to the kimono with shorter sleeve portions worn by mature, married women. Some women will also wear hakama (baggy pants).
Most young woman cannot put on a kimono themselves, and have to go to a kimono kitsuke who dresses them. They also go to a hairdressers to have their hair done the day before or early in the morning. Many women rent their kimonos because of the cost of buying one.
Most young men wear business suits, although sometimes men wearing dark-colored kimonos can be seen. Certainly, It is much less expensive day for the young men than the women.