There're a few countries in the world where an important person's birthday is a public holiday. For Example: The Emperor's birthday in Japan

What happens if the Emperor dies shortly or a long time before his birthday, is the holiday cancelled?

I'm especially interested in what happened when this occurred in the past.

Are similar rules applied to other countries?, in particular:

  • 2
    I'm going to go with "depends on the person and the country."
    – puppetsock
    Feb 28, 2020 at 21:39
  • 1
    The US used to celebrate George Washington's birthday long after his death. Now I believe it has been combined with other holidays to form "President's Day." Really, I agree with puppetsock that it really depends on the person in question, the country, and possibly who's in charge of deciding what holidays are celebrated at the time of death.
    – user29681
    Feb 28, 2020 at 22:03
  • 1
    In that case, a historical example of what happened (no matter the country/person) would answer this question.
    – Allure
    Feb 28, 2020 at 22:05
  • 1
    You'll need to narrow down the question in order to get an answer. Right now, as others have noted, it's too broad, and an answer that is correct for one country will certainly not be correct for all.
    – Joe C
    Feb 29, 2020 at 9:03

1 Answer 1


The emperor's birthday is a national holiday. If the emperor dies, the government has the option to either cancel that holiday (and introduce a new holiday for the birthday of his successor), continue the holiday for one year (perhaps as a day of mourning) or maintain the holiday (perhaps renaming it).

For example, the Showa Emperor's birthday (Hirohito) was on April 29th. This made a nice group of holidays in late April and early May. After he died, the day was maintained as a national holiday but renamed "Greenery Day" and later "Showa Day".

On the other hand, when the Heisei Emperor (Akihito) abdicated, the government chose not to maintain his birthday (23 Dec) as a national holiday. The 23rd of Dec is now a regular working day for Japanese workers.

In general (in Malaysia or Thailand) if the King dies, then the new King comes to the throne, and it is his birthday that is celebrated. However each sovereign country is entire free to have a holiday on any day for any reason or for no reason at all.

  • 1
    each sovereign country is entire[ly] free - unless the country's sovereign objects, of course ;)
    – Peter
    Feb 29, 2020 at 23:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .