September 15, 2009 Introducing Silver Week (aka “don’t expect to get much work done in late September”)
If you don’t hear very much from your colleagues in Japan over the couple of weeks, blame it on Silver Week, the newest renkyu (long holiday) in Japan. It’s occurring for the first time this year due to a quirk in the calendar.
September 21st is Respect for the Aged Day (keiro no hi), always the third Monday in September. Autumn Equinox Day (shubun no hi) is September 23rd this year. So the day in between automatically becomes a national holiday, creating a five day weekend.
And many people are evidently adding their personal holiday plans on top to create a longer getaway, such as the client who told me this morning: “I’m very sorry, but I’m combining my vacation this year with Silver Week, so from tomorrow afternoon until the morning of the 28th I will be out of the office.”
Just like Golden Week in the spring, businesspeople can expect that their dealings with Japanese firms are going to slow to a near-standstill during this period. However, the expected small burst in travel and spending should be helpful to the Japanese economy (let’s cross our fingers!)
However, unlike Golden Week, Silver Week won’t be happening every year. Here’s the upcoming schedule, courtesy of Wikipedia.