Culture award winners with their spouses
at the Imperial Palace.
November 3 is Culture Day, a national holiday. It was on this day in 1946 that the present Constitution of Japan was officially announced. To commemorate this event, the date was made into a holiday two years later to foster the ideals of the Constitution - the love of peace and freedom - through cultural activities.
The Constitution did not actually come into force until May 3, 1947, though, and so there's a separate national holiday, Constitution Memorial Day, to mark that event.
Strangely enough, November 3 always seems to be blessed with fine weather - even when it's cloudy or rainy on the day before or after. For 32 years between 1965 and 1996, there have been only three rainy days on November 3 in Tokyo, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency. The agency has a list of days that always seem to feature certain kinds of weather - and November 3 is one such day for clear skies.
A variety of events are held on sunny Culture Day. At the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the presentation ceremony of Order of Culture Awards is held. The Emperor personally presents the awards - in the shape of an orange plant with a light purple cord - to those who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of science, art, or culture.
Around this date, many festivals are held to promote the spread and development of the arts, and awards of various kinds are given by public and private organizations around the country.