Each 23 November is “Japanese Thanksgiving”. More properly, the holiday is called “Labour Thanksgiving Day” and is more like a combination of the Thanksgiving and Labour Day holidays of other countries. The day is dedicated to being thankful for the hard work of the workers of Japan of all walks of life.
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On Labour Thanksgiving Day, there are labour-focused events held all over Japan. The most famous among them is probably the Nagano Labour Festival. Trade unions will hold huge rallies in Tokyo and other major cities as well, making the voice of labour clearly heard.
The most ancient roots of the holiday hail back to Shinjo Sai, a harvest festival focused on the principal grains, which were considered to be rice, wheat, beans, and several varieties of millet. The holiday changed in character in 1948 when it was secularised and when workers’ rights issues began to become prominent in Japan.
It is traditional for school-aged kids to make holiday cards for local policemen, firefighters, medical personnel, coast guard members, and other workers who protect society. Businesses also typically take time to review past conduct of their employees and give out awards or at least thanks to the relevant persons.
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