Next week, here in Japan, it is Golden Week. ‘Why ‘Golden Week?”, you may ask. Well, apparently it comes from the Japanese radio lingo ‘golden time’ which is when a station has its highest number of listeners and is therefore successful. In 1948, many national holidays were passed by law, and several were around the end of April and start of May. Because people had time off they were able to take part in leisure activities and thus this period became ‘golden’.
I also found out recently, thanks to one of my super students, that actually, every day in Japan has a name; some of which are quite bizarre and amusing. Take May 2nd, for example: ‘Pencil Day’; and 28th April, ‘Elephant Day’. There is also ‘Ice Cream Day which I like the idea of, ‘Corn Beef Day’, ‘Orange Day’, and ‘Good Teeth Day’ to name but a few. Today is ‘Good Bath Day’, You may be wondering why, and rightly so. For many of the days’ names, I have no answer, but some are cleverly named based on puns of Japanese words.
‘Good’ in Japanese is ‘yoi’. Bath’ is ‘furo’. ‘Bath Day is on the 26th of April. April is the fourth month, and four is ‘yon’. Two can be called ‘futatsu’, and six can be ‘roku’. Put the pieces tog ether and you get ‘yo fu ro’. Add an ‘i’ and there you have it – Good Bath Day on April 26th! So Happy Good Bath Day everyone! Fascinating, isn’t it?