Hiroshima Memorial Day

Every year on August 6th in Hiroshima, Japan, Hiroshima Memorial Day is observed. It is a day to console the victims of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, and to pray for lasting world peace. The day in Hiroshima begins with the ringing of the Peace Bell at exactly 8:15 am, the exact time the A-bomb was dropped on the city, an event that lasts approximately one minute.

When this bell is rung, people at the ceremony grounds in front of the Memorial Cenotaph in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and Japanese citizens all over the city, will pause to pay a silent tribute to all the people who died on this day.

The History of Hiroshima Memorial Day

At 8:15 am, the bomber Enola Gay released an atomic bomb known as “Little Boy” onto the city. In an instant, the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT exploded over the city, followed by a blinding light.

Approximately 70,000 people are estimated to have been killed instantly, with the casualties rising to over 140,000 people over the next five years because of radiation poisoning and other causes related to the destruction. Among the many thousands of Japanese who died on this day, several American POWs were also killed during the blast. This holiday was created to remember all these victims and to urge people to work together towards peace.

Observing Hiroshima Memorial Day

The main part of Hiroshima Memorial Day is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. During this ceremony, there is a dedication of water, opening events, and a dedication of the register of the names of the fallen atomic bomb victims. Then there is a formal address, a dedication of flowers, and silent prayers.

There is also a ringing of the Peace Bell, a peace declaration by Hiroshima’s mayor, and a release of doves. Of course, these events may not happen in the order provided, and there may be additions to the ceremonies from year to year. To spread the word about this holiday and to encourage peace worldwide, use the hashtag #HiroshimaMemorialDay on social media posts for the day.

Where is it celebrated?
Japan (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 6 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
August 6 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
August 6 Sunday