Mountain Day

Mountains are something that most people don’t think a whole lot about. When people think about mountains, they see them as only large piles of rocks that add a bit of majesty to the landscape. People don’t usually consider their cultural impact or the wide range of activities they can offer. Mountains offer humans something special. Fortunately, there’s a holiday that celebrates mountains, and it was first created in May 2014 in Japan. This holiday falls on August 11th annually. The purpose of this holiday is to encourage people to recognize the blessings they receive from mountains and to become more familiar with them.

The History of Mountain Day

Mountain Day was initially conceived as a holiday back in May 2014, but it wouldn’t be officially celebrated until 2016. Early supporters of this holiday included the Japanese Alpine Club and legislator Seishiro Eto.

Although this holiday is usually celebrated on August 11th, changes can be made to accommodate certain events. For example, the date of the holiday was moved to August 10th in 2020 to accommodate the 2020 Summer Olympics. When the Olympics were postponed until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the holiday remained on the 10th. The Japanese government then made additional accommodations for the Olympics in 2021 by moving the holiday to August 9th.

Cool Facts About Mountains

Since not everyone is a mountain expert, and some people have never even been on one, we’ve decided to list some facts that we found interesting and have listed these factoids below.

  • Mount Everest has the highest elevation above sea level. It’s approximately 29,028 feet high.
  • There are five types of mountains: folded mountains, volcanic mountains, fault-block mountains, dome mountains, and plateau mountains.
  • The Himalayas are a good example of folded mountains that began forming 55 million years ago when parts of the Earth’s crust collided.
  • Mountain ranges are usually 1,000 miles or more in length.
  • Hawaii is the top of a volcanic mountain in the Pacific. More than half of that mountain is below the ocean waves.
  • The highest mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons. It’s three times higher than Mount Everest.
  • About 80% of the world’s freshwater originates in the mountains.
  • All of the world’s rivers are fed using water from mountain sources.
  • Over 1,200 people attempt to climb Mount Everest annually. Only about half of them complete the trek to the summit.
  • Approximately thirty of the world’s highest mountains are in the Himalayas.

Observing Mountain Day

The stated purpose of this holiday is simple. Everyone in Japan who can make it to a mountain should take the time to do so. Japanese citizens should also consider the importance of mountains in their culture as well as in the history of humanity. Of course, people who aren’t in Japan can also celebrate this holiday by heading to a mountain near them. While doing so, they can use the hashtag #MountainDay on their social media accounts—if they have cell service.

Where is it celebrated?
Japan (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 11 Sunday
Next year (2025)
August 11 Monday
Last year (2023)
August 11 Friday