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Japan celebrates Christmas, but not in the same way as most Western countries. Japanese people usually give one another “Oseibo” or “New Year’s cards instead of exchanging presents.”
These are often given to bosses and co-workers before New Year’s Day. The idea is that by giving someone an oseibo, you’re wishing them a happy new year. Another tradition during this time of year is “Kagami Biraki,” which means “breaking the mirror.”
This refers to breaking open a wooden box that contains seven small pieces of paper with sayings about luck on them and eating the snacks inside it.
People visit shrines for good luck rituals (See Also: My Top 15 of Best Temples in Japan), such as throwing coins into a fountain or buying charms from vendors outside the shrine.
Christmas is also an essential date for couples in Japan, as it’s the time of year they’re most likely to get engaged or even married.
Is Christmas Day a holiday in Japan?
Christmas Day and Boxing Day (December 26th) are not holidays in Japan. However, many businesses will close early on the 25th for “Christmas Parties,” which often include lavish buffets and other entertainment such as karaoke.
Major department stores like Isetan in Tokyo and Daimaru in Osaka also stay open late the evening before the 25th and hold special sales events.
How popular is Christmas in Japan?
Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, so it’s celebrated by only about 1% of the population…
However, since the 1990s, there has been an increase in the popularity of Christmas in Japan. This can be attributed to several factors like.
- The rise in an international marriage and multicultural families in Japan.
- Celebrities and pop stars celebrating Christmas
- The Japanese government supports the holiday as part of their campaign to bring more tourists to Japan during the winter season.
During this time, you’ll see “Christmas Parties” at many hotels and bars, which will offer special set menus, free-flow drinks, and other entertainment such as karaoke.
There’s also a nationwide “Christmas Campaign” by the Japan Christmas Committee, and several large department stores will hold special sales events on December 24th and 25th.
What kind of food is eaten at Christmas in Japan?
One popular tradition in Japan during this time of year is eating Kentucky Fried Chicken.
This has been around since the ’80s and is usually eaten with your fingers on Christmas Eve.
KFC restaurants stay open late on December 24th (from 7 pm-3 am) to satisfy the demand for fried chicken, champagne, and beer that comes with this holiday!
If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, then you might like trying some “Yule Log Cake.” This is a sponge cake shaped like a log and usually topped with whipped cream and decorated with strawberries.
Also popular this time of year, the cakes, cookies, and snacks sold at convenience stores and desserts like cakes, parfaits, and the all-time favorite ice cream!
Japanese love their rice, so they often eat bread-based dishes such as roasts and stuffing as well.
Rice is also a symbol of celebration, so many families enjoy it for breakfast at this time of year.
Japan’s Christmas traditions are rooted in exchanging greetings for good luck throughout the new year.
While some may think that Japan doesn’t have much of a Christmas tradition, there are several fun things to do this time of year here, like visiting shrines to throw coins into a wishing well.
If nothing else, this will be an excellent time to practice your chopstick skills, as bento boxes and other festive snacks are sure to fill the table!
What is Santa called in Japan?
The Santa Claus or “Father Christmas” that you are familiar with is called “Santa Man” in Japan, which literally means “Mr. Christmas.”
There are several other notable holiday characters in Japan at this time of year, including Hoteiosho (a fat, jolly man who distributes presents).
What is the significance of Christmas in Japan?
On December 24th, many people visit Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples to wash away their sins by offering water and alcohol.
Many families also attend Christmas parties at their child’s school, which usually include a party, games, and a visit from “Santa.”
In the past, the Japanese didn’t see December as a time to celebrate since it was regarded as a time for cold weather and final exams before winter break. However, many people enjoyed going to department stores to watch the Christmas parade.
Do many Japanese people travel overseas during Christmas?
In the last couple of years, there has been a trend for young Japanese to travel outside the country. Many take advantage of “Golden Week” (the first week of May) to go on trips to celebrate the end of the school year. (See Also: When does School Strat in Japan?)
However, many Japanese people prefer visiting places within Japan because it’s much cheaper than flying overseas. Instead, they often take short trips to regional areas like Kyushu or Hokkaido, where they can enjoy nature and hot springs.
Why do the Japanese eat KFC on Christmas?
Japanese people eat KFC on Christmas because it’s popular and cheap. Many students buy a family-sized bucket at the beginning of the month and enjoy eating it throughout December because they don’t have much money to spend.
It’s also convenient since many stores are open late into the night due to Japan’s extended holiday break.
What do Japanese people get for Christmas presents?
Japanese people get all sorts of Christmas presents, including clothes, stuffed animals, jewelry, and accessories. However, many children get games consoles like the Nintendo Wii or Sony Playstation!
Do Japanese put up Christmas trees?
Christmas trees are trendy in Japan, especially at hotels and restaurants. They usually decorate the overhead section of their establishment with bright lights that can be seen by passersby.
You’ll also find Christmas trees at many shopping malls around Tokyo, but they aren’t as common in homes or apartments since most Japanese live in small spaces.
Why do the Japanese go to Hawaii for Christmas?
There are two main reasons why many Japanese people go to Hawaii for the holidays.
Firstly, they want to experience a white Christmas by seeing it snow on the ground. Since this can’t happen in Japan due to its four distinct seasons, some people believe that if they travel far enough south, they will see it too.
Secondly, many middle-class Japanese are looking for a “holiday getaway” since traveling abroad is expensive. Hawaii offers the perfect solution because it’s only an eight-hour flight from Japan, but it has everything people want in an exotic location.
So while Japan isn’t too busy at Christmas time, you’ll find that there are lots of fun activities to do over the holidays.
How do Japanese students study over the holidays?
Many students stay in the dormitories at their schools and live off of Christmas food from home while they study for their final 2 months of high school or college. Others go home to visit family, but it’s becoming increasingly common for young people to travel overseas with friends during this time of year!
How many Christians are in Japan?
There are approximately one hundred thousand Christians in Japan, so most people don’t celebrate Christmas! (See also: What is Japan’s Main religion?)
However, some groups arrange services for this day to teach the message of Jesus Christ to others. These include the Salvation Army and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
What is New Year’s Eve like in Japan?
New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest holidays in Japan, which you can tell by looking at the price of train tickets. Many people go to shrines or temples to make an offering and write their resolutions on paper.
Afterward, they often drink sake (a Japanese rice wine), eat New Year’s cake, and spend time with their friends and family.
Japanese customs for New Year include :
- wearing a Chinese-style hat called a “Furin,” which is said to bring good luck, (You may be interested in: Do Japanese celebrate Chinese lunar New Year?)
- hanging “Kadomatsu” (a bamboo decoration decorated with pine needles) on the front door, which welcomes in fortune,
- And eating “Mochi” (sticky rice cakes) symbolizes making wishes for the coming year.