Thursday, May 2, 2013

Kanreki 「還暦」 in Japan

(posted; Japanese culture page)
The other day, my husband's brother had 60th birthday. We call it Kanreki 「還暦」 in Japan. His two daughters had arranged a special lunch at the hotel. I took many lovely pictures of all family including his two grandchildren; unfortunately their mothers (our nieces) seem unwilling for their children to be in the blog world.
We all had a nice time with gorgeous lunch and the ordered birthday cake afterward.



For this occasion, I checked what it means and how important for us.

You can read this page and see this picture page to know about it. I'd like to summarize from the page a little.  Basically, 60 year old honoree has been 5 times of the Chinese zodiac with its 12 animal years and having the rebirth time; which means once again a baby who is embarking on the next 60-year cycle. Baby is called 「赤ちゃん・Aka-chan and it literally means, "red one" in Japanese. So something red is connected with this birthday. Haha, you might have been surprised to see many red vest in the picture page. In old days, we call vest 'chan-chan-ko'.  So "red+vest"  I hope you understood my poor explanation p;)

My husband was given this musical score stand with messages and several other red goodies (a pair of socks, etc haha) from his colleagues when he retired at the age of 60.
And we also had a lunch at the hotel with family members. He still treasures the belt (not red colored) his nieces bought for him. So, 60th has an important meaning for us beside it is the age we retire from our job.

I wonder if this age means the same or has other special meaning to the people in western country as well.




In Japan, we are in so-called 'Golden Week' holidays. It refers to the period from April 29th to May 5th when there are four national holidays. Many places are crowded and have heavy traffic. I also have some schedule invited to the city festival or eating out. 
Well, friends, I DO hope you also have a nice coming weekend♬♬♬


9 comments:

Barbara F. said...

Oh Miyako, loved this and will visit your links. Next year, I will be celebrating my Kanreki!! I cannot believe it!! ((hugs)) xo

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I loved this post Miyako! All of this is information I would never have known if I did not have you as a virtual friend! I am so glad to have found you.

The Kanreki celebration is a wonderful idea and it sounds as if your nieces gave their dad a wonderful party.

And the red music stand your sweet husband got for his retirement was perfect for his day, now that I know from you about his talents!

TexWisGirl said...

i like the red and the 5 times around the zodiac. very neat!

Ann said...

WHAT A WONDERFUL CELEBRATION...AND THE MEANING BEHIND IT !!
RETIRE AT 60..HOW NICE..RETIREMENT AGE HERE IS LATER..AND THE GOVERNMENT MAY TAKE IT TO 72!
I RETIRED REALLY EARLY BECAUSE OF A PHYSICAL DISABILITY.
THE FOOD LOOKS SO GOOD,AND IS SO BEAUTIFULLY PRESENTED!!!
XOXO

Tamago said...

Happy Kanreki to your husband's brother! Looks like you had very special lunch! I did not know where the red vest came from for Kanreki. So it is connected to aka-chan. How interesting!
The red musical score stand is very lovely.

Enjoy your Golden Week, Miyako san!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Miyako,
Quite interesting to read all this about a special 60th Birthday! I noticed the RED right away and you did explain it very well. I cannot even speak for the United States custom but in The Netherlands it is a big thing to celebrate a 50th Birthday; not so much the 60th... Than 65 is for retirement and people celebrate 70; 75; 80 etc. just for the joy of being still alive.
Sending you hugs and a belated congratulation for your brother-in-law.
Mariette

eileeninmd said...

Hello Miyako, I almost missed this post. Happy Belated Birthday to your hubby's brother! The Golden Week celebration sound like fun, I hope you have a wonderful week! Eileen

thisisme said...

Hi sweet Miyako. I couldn't comment on your new post about the Boys' Day, so I've popped over to this one. You have so many, many lovely traditions in your country, and, like you, I hope they continue. To see the flying carp was lovely! It looks as it everyone had a lovely time at your hubby's brother's 60th birthday celebrations. Very interesting to read all about the tradition again for retiring at 60. In my country, it always used to be 65 for men and 60 for women, but this has completely changed and people are having to work longer and longer because their pension age has gone up such a lot, and they cannot afford to retire. It's all down to the economy and the recession! Love & hugs to you my dear friend, and please enjoy the Golden Week celebrations! xx

sarah said...

I remembered that we celebrated kanreki for father-in-low long long ago. He wore red chan-chan-ko and zukin.
I triped with my mother and sister to chat and chat in Golden Week.
Enjoy holiday!