Here’s How the Japanese Celebrate Christmas
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
While there are not a lot of Christians in Japan, this holiday is celebrated not as a religious occasion but rather as a secular holiday. Christmas Eve (December 24) is more celebrated over the actual Christmas day on the 25th, especially by kids and couples. And for the rest, it is just another work day as it is not considered a non-working holiday.
If this trip will be your first time spending Christmas in Japan, or if you happen to be there over the holidays, you might want to check in advance how the Japanese folks celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
Establishments like malls, restaurants, and amusement parks usually start displaying their Christmas decorations right after November 1, or Halloween. Imagine seeing all the black pumpkins turn into something red and sparkly the next day.
The Japanese are well aware of Santa and the spirit of gift-giving but this usually happens only in families with kids and among couples. Just like Western traditions, the kids write their Christmas wishes and receive their gifts from Santa on the morning of Christmas day. On the other hand, couples exchange gifts during Christmas when they go out for a romantic date.
If shops run out of Christmas ham and cake rolls in the Philippines during Christmas, in Japan, the dishes that would usually be sold out are the strawberry shortcakes and fried or roasted chicken. So don’t be surprised if there will be a shortage of fried chicken from KFC or Family Mart in Japan over the holidays.
If you haven’t done any of your Christmas shopping yet then you are in luck! Run to any outlets in Japan and you will find huge discounts on almost any day of December. You might want to check on your favorite shops too like cosmetic stores as they start selling happy bags as early as now.
Have a very merry Christmas everyone!
(4 December 2019)