Christmas in Japan
Credit to Research Team: Irfan
Prefecture: Whole of Japan
Hello everyone, wishing you a Merry Christmas and may this festival bring abundant joy and happiness in your life! For this Fact of the Week, we will discover Christmas in Japan.
Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan. However, often schools are closed on Christmas Day. The Emperor’s birthday is a national holiday on the 23rd December and there’s also a New Year school break. So the holiday break often starts around the 23rd. But most businesses will treat the 25th as a ‘normal’ working day.
In Japan, it’s still not seen as a religious holiday or celebration as there aren’t many Christians in Japan. Christmas in known as more of a time to spread happiness and Christmas Eve is thought of as a romantic day, in which couples spend together and exchange presents. In many ways, it resembles Valentine’s Day celebrations in the UK and the USA.
Christmas lights, or “Illumination” as it’s called here, is a huge attraction during the festive season. Theme parks, shops and malls are lavished with pretty lights and themed decorations. The streets of posh areas like Omotesando, Ginza and Roppongi are absolutely stunning during this time of year too, and it’s a great opportunity to take a walk and soak up the atmosphere.
In the early 70s KFC ran a series of ads called “Kentucky for Christmas!” (Kurisumasu ni wa kentakki!) The campaign was so successful at capturing the country’s imagination that Christmas became synonymous with KFC. It’s so popular that people put in their reservations months in advance to avoid the (very) long lines.
Another Christmas tradition is to have scrumptious servings of strawberry shortcake. But if strawberries aren’t your thing, any cake will do, so long as it’s cake.
Hope you enjoy some information about celebrating Christmas in Japan!