Respect For The Aged Day

Respect for the Aged Day is a Japanese public holiday observed annually on the third Monday in September. The purpose of this holiday is for all people to honor and show respect to elderly citizens of the country. This holiday can be traced back to a 1940s holiday known as Toshiyori no Hi, or Old Folk’s Day in English. That holiday was extremely popular, so over the years, it evolved into the holiday known today. It is now a holiday in which Japanese citizens hold special events for their elderly community members.

The History of Respect for the Aged Day

This holiday unofficially began in 1947 when the Nomadani-mura in Hyogo Prefecture proclaimed the 15th of September as Old Folks Day or Toshiyori no Hi. It didn’t take long for the holiday to become an important holiday in the prefecture and to be observed all across Japan. In 1966, the holiday’s name was changed to Respect for the Aged Day, and it became a national holiday.

Facts About the Elderly

The following facts are the result of digging through a ton of research for this holiday. Since these facts align well with Respect for the Aged Day, we thought we’d list them below.

  • In 2019, there were 703 million people over the age of 65 in the world.
  • By 2050, it is estimated there will be 1.5 billion people over the age of 65 in the world.
  • In Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, the population over 65 years rose from 6% to 11% between 1990 and 2020.
  • In the Caribbean and Latin America, the elderly population rose from 5% to 9% between 1990 and 2020.
  • People 65 years old can expect to live another 17 years on average in 2020.
  • By 2050, people 65 years old can expect to live another 19 years.
  • Women outlive men globally by almost 5 years.
  • The ratio of women to men over 65 is 100 to 76.
  • The ratio of women to men over 85 is 100 to 49.
  • Over 33% of all federally subsidized housing in the U.S. is occupied by elderly people.
  • In the U.S., 99% of people over 65 have health insurance. About 94% of them have Medicare.
  • In 2014, a third of the Japanese population was over the age of 60.

Observing Respect for the Aged Day

Not only is this holiday observed by people taking the time to show respect for the elderly, but it is also a time when television stations all over Japan do human interest stories on older people on this day. People travel home to be with their older family members, and some people give out free lunchboxes to older people who might need them.

Where is it celebrated?
Japan (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
September 16 Monday
Next year (2025)
September 15 Monday
Last year (2023)
September 18 Monday