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Greenery Day – May 4, 2023

Greenery Day is observed on May 4 every year in Japan. The national holiday encourages people to commune with nature to express their gratitude and appreciation for its benefits. Initially, the holiday was observed on April 29 to commemorate the birthday of Emperor Shōwa, the emperor of Japan from 1926 to 1989. But when Emperor Akihito took to the throne, the name of the holiday was changed from Birthday of the Emperor to Greenery Day in recognition of the wartime emperor’s love for greenery. The new holiday name also acquired a new date, May 4, while April 29 became Shōwa Day.

History of Greenery Day

Emperor Shōwa, born Hirohito, was the 124th emperor of Japan. Born in 1901, Hirohito ascended the throne in 1926 and reigned till his death in 1989. During his reign, he was referred to as “the Emperor” by Japanese citizens and “Emperor Hirohito” by foreigners. He was given the name Emperor Shōwa posthumously. Hirohito was the reigning monarch during the second Sino-Japanese War, which segued into the Second World War. Japan’s role as an Axis Power was demonstrated under Hirohito’s reign.

Hirohito’s role in Japan’s alliance with Italy and Germany during WWII remains unclear. The post-war narrative adopted in Japan was that Hirohito was a powerless figurehead forced into the pact. Certain historians later held that he may have had a more direct role than previously thought. Hirohito remained the emperor throughout the postwar rebuilding of Japan.

Also a marine biologist, Hirohito was known for his love for nature. When his successor and son, Emperor Akihito, ascended the throne after Hirohito’s death in 1989, he decreed that April 29 be celebrated as Greenery Day — to commemorate his father’s love for nature and greenery without referring to the controversies in which he was embroiled. In 2007, Akihito moved Greenery Day to May 4, earlier known as the National Day of Rest, and decreed April 29 to be Shōwa Day instead.

Greenery Day timeline

1901
Hirohito is Born

Hirohito is born to the Japanese royal family.

1926
Hirohito Ascends the Throne

Hirohito begins his reign as the Emperor of Japan.

April 29, 1989
The First Greenery Day

Emperor Akihito declares the first Greenery Day.

2007
The Date is Changed

May 4 is announced as the new Greenery Day.

Greenery Day FAQs

Why is Greenery Day celebrated in Japan?

The day is celebrated to appreciate and express gratitude and appreciation for Nature and its matchless beauty.

What countries celebrate Greenery Day?

Japan is the only country that celebrates Greenery Day.

What happens on Greenery Day?

On Greenery Day, people appreciate nature and all the good it brings us.

How to Observe Greenery Day

  1. Spend some time in nature

    The point of Greenery Day is to appreciate nature. Spend the day surrounded by some form of nature.

  2. Get a plant for yourself

    Get a plant for yourself to spruce up your surroundings. Growing a garden, some research has proved, has a lot of psychological benefits.

  3. Donate to a foundation

    If you can, donate to a foundation working to preserve nature and biodiversity. Green Dreamers and Rainforest Alliance are among environmental organizations working to protect biodiversity.

5 Interesting Facts About Nature

  1. Trees vs. stars

    Scientists estimate that there are 200 to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way, but at least one trillion trees on Earth!

  2. Growing pineapples

    Before you let another fruit of pineapple go to waste, know that the plant takes two whole years to grow and bear fruits.

  3. One more weird thing about owls

    Owls don’t have eyelids.

  4. Heat is the deadliest weather condition

    In a year, tornadoes cause an average of 70 deaths and flooding causes 81, but no fewer than 130 people die of heat-related ailments every year.

  5. Edible plants

    Humans can only eat about 200 types of plants.

Why Greenery Day is Important

  1. Nature is important

    Nature is essential to our existence. Greenery Day reminds us of this critical fact.

  2. It’s an excuse to bask in nature

    There is nothing quite like surrounding yourself with nature and its peaceful serenity. Greenery Day is an excuse to interact more deeply with nature.

  3. We are reminded to preserve nature

    Because our existence is literally tied to nature, it’s upon us to manage and preserve it with utter care. Greenery Day reminds us to not only preserve Nature but also appreciate its gifts.

Greenery Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 4Thursday
2024May 4Saturday
2025May 4Sunday
2026May 4Monday
2027May 4Tuesday

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