In Japan, it is Seijin no Hi (成人の日), or the day of your coming of age. Adult Day, more or less, celebrated the second Monday in January.
For those who turn the ripe old age of 20 years old, it is a time to herald new found liberties and shoulder new responsibilities. Young adults of Japan may be able to legally vote and drink, but are also subject to the laws imposed on adults.
Speeches are made by local government officials, and small presents handed out to the privileged new adults. Women adorn themselves in kimono, while the men are either dressed in business attire or traditional hakama.
Origins of this celebration can be found in Saitama Prefecture. Attitudes post World War II were geared to encourage young people to believe in a better and bright future despite the loss of the war, and ensuing depression.
Whatever age we may be on January 10th, 2011, let’s all adopt a new outlook for this new year, then live it and act on it. Why not celebrate like we’re 20?!