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How you can celebrate your elders this respect for the aged day

3 min read

Respect for the Aged Day

The third Monday of September marks Respect for the Aged Day in Japan, or Keirō no Hi.

Similar to Grandparents Day, this cultural holiday celebrates the elders within a community and thanks them for all they have done for us.

The special day has a rich history and is recognised through many cultural traditions including Keirokai shows put together by local school children, and delivery of boxed lunches filled with traditional Japanese foods.

The national holiday is also celebrated in Japan with media coverage of the day, with features on some of the oldest people in the country.


With an ageing population and a strong cultural tradition of respecting the elderly, the people of Japan love to celebrate this touching holiday, and often visit their elderly relatives over the long weekend.

You can read more about the history of this holiday, Respect for the Aged Day traditions, or how the day is traditionally celebrated.

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How You Can Celebrate

We love the idea of having a day to celebrate our elders and the contributions they have made to society by spending quality time with them and treating them.

We’ve put together our list of suggestions for how to celebrate Respect for the Aged Day with your grandparents or neighbours on September 18….

• Visit them for tea and bring some little cakes or snacks.

• Take them out for lunch and ask them to share their favourite stories with you.

• Visit a botanical garden and wander through the trees. See our garden suggestions for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or Hobart.

• Help them with household chores like hanging the washing or mowing the lawn.

• Take them a basket of goodies to suit their tastes. Consider whether they like crosswords, gardening, knitting, drawing, or anything else, and include some thoughtful items.

• Pack a picnic basket and take them out for the day.

• Take them for a drive to the beach and enjoy the view together.

• Ask them to give you their best life advice, or to help you learn a new skill that they are accomplished in.

• Write them a sweet card to show your appreciation.

• Send them an arrangement of beautiful Keirō no Hi flowers or a delicious hamper.

• Pack them a boxed lunch with elements of a traditional Japanese meal and hand-deliver it.

• Help them run errands or pick up their grocery shopping.

• Bake them cookies or a sweet slice and layer in a box with tissue paper and tied with ribbon.

• Pick up their favourite newspaper or magazine for them to read.

• Take them to visit a museum exhibition or art gallery you think they might enjoy.

• Help them out in the garden and plant some of their favourite bulbs.

• If you don’t have grandparents to spend time with, volunteer your time in the community to help senior citizens.

We’ll be spending Respect for the Aged Day with our wonderful grandparents and elderly neighbours, and eating some sweet treats while we’re there!

How will you be celebrating Respect for the Aged Day this year? Head to our Facebook and let us know!

Read Next: 15 Japanese Traditions You Probably Haven’t Heard of and Fascinating Japanese Holidays to Add to Your Calendar.

Shop Keirō no Hi flowers here.

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