It is appropriate that we celebrate May Day, the first day of May! It is a celebration of Spring and all the good things in life as the world becomes green again, fills with flowers and brings us out of a cold, dark winter. It is also Labor Day in all but three countries of the world, (Or I should say 140 countries of the world) that is unless it falls on a weekend day which the holiday is then pushed to the next Monday. So maybe it’s May Day, and maybe it’s not! Oh, and those three countries that celebrate Labor Day separately have all placed their Labor Days in September and they are the US, Canada and Bermuda.
How to celebrate – Welcome Spring. Break out the summer clothes and put away the winter ones. Celebrate Labor Day if you live in one of those countries that celebrate it the first of May.
Today was Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s birthday. Japan is known for it’s lush, beautiful gardens and Hirohito spent much of his life tending to his numerous gardens. He was Emperor of Japan during World War 2 but had very little to do with the actual war. Whether he supported the war or not is not clear. He ruled as the Emperor until 1989, and upon his death he was remembered by making Greenery Day a holiday.
How to celebrate – Tend your own garden. Visit Japan. Read about Hirohito’s life.
Greenery Day is based upon Emperor Hirohito birthday, April 29th, although apparently it is most often celebrated on May 4th in Japan. It was established in 1989 after Emperor Showa (The line of Emperors, same guy) died on Jan.7th. So I’m a little confused about his holiday, it came after his death, may or may not be on April 29th his birthday, and he has two names.
Hirohito was Emperor during World War 2. From what I have read he was basically opposed to the war but as the leader of the Japanese people he was not really able to prevent it. Huh? However they could not end the war without his permission, which he gave after two atomic bombs had been dropped, his navy destroyed and his people suffering beyond belief.
So why do they celebrate it as Greenery Day? I have absolutely no idea other than beautiful gardens have always been a part of the Japanese culture. They are certainly green and I am sure that while the rest of his country was burning, he had beautiful gardens to walk through.
Now I am not blaming him for the war, and I am not denying that Japan does have some of the most beautiful gardens anywhere. The two things together are a bit odd though. However I do have to admit I am not all that versed in Hirohito’s life so maybe greenery was a huge part of his life.
I do know this… if more of the world was green maybe we all would be calmer, gentler people. It’s hard to be violent when surrounded by natures natural beauty.
How to celebrate – Enjoy your own garden, or your neighbors today. (Just don’t get caught tromping through your neighbors garden.) Plant something today. Go for a walk in a forest.