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Japan celebrates people's birthdays very similar to the way other western countries would, including a cake with candles for the celebration. Originally, the Japanese wouldn't celebrate their birthdays, or would celebrate it during the new year. It's become more common practice for some form of celebration on this day in the country. There are special holidays and events that commemorate certain yearly milestones, such as Shichi-Go-San and the 88th Birthday.
One example of a special numbered birthday in Japan is the 88th birthday. The day is known as
yone-no-iwai and is special because when the characters for eighty-eight are written together in Japanese, the characters resemble the kanji for
rice. Rice plays a major role in the lifestyle of many Japanese, being a food consumed at nearly all ages. The numbers resemble rice and thus, the day is supposed to be filled with happiness and joy. Other important birthdays include the 60th, 70th, 77th, 80th, 90th, and 99th.
Congratulate those who have reached the age of majority
Rite of passage for girls age three and seven and boys age five
Christmas Eve is celebrated more festively than Christmas Day
Unlike America, women give the men chocolate on Valentine's Day in Japan