Umi no Hi, also known as Marine Day, Ocean Day, or Sea Day is a national holiday in Japan celebrated to give thanks to the ocean and recognize its importance.
Originally called Marine Memorial Day, it was first celebrated on July 20, 1941 to commemorate the anniversary of the return of the Meiji Emperor to Yokohama after a long voyage at sea in 1876. His ship, the Meiji-Maru (built in Scotland) is now the oldest iron ship in Japan, and is open to the public for tours. The day was also designated to celebrate the ocean and her bountiful gifts to the country.
In 1996 Umi no Hi became an official national holiday of Japan. In 2003, it became a floating Monday holiday celebrated the third Monday in July. In order to be in sync with the opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, this year's celebratory date for Marine Day was changed from Monday, July 20th to July 23rd. However, the Summer Olympics were postponed until July 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but Marine Day is still being observed on this day this year.
Celebrate Marine Day by going to the beach, lake, river, or any body of water to explore and appreciate what the sea and our waters do for us. Bring a trash bag to pick up any garbage you find. Also, learn about marine life and how ocean pollution affects the sea and the world.
Happy Uni no Hi to the people of Japan - and the rest of the world!
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