The Emperor’s Birthday is a national holiday in Japan. For over 30 years, it was held on December 23, but with the ascension of the new emperor and the start of the Reiwa era in 2019, the holiday now falls on Emperor Naruhito’s birthday, the 23rd of February. Traditionally, a public ceremony is held in which the emperor and members of the imperial family appear on the palace balcony to acknowledge the birthday wishes from the crowd. In 2020 and this year, however, the public celebration has been cancelled to avoid risking the spread of the coronavirus.

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