Christmas is almost here!
Although Christmas is not a national holiday or religious celebration as there aren’t many Christians in Japan, but it has been adopted as a time for friends and dating. The festivities begin in November with shopping malls and department stores all putting up beautiful decorations and illuminations which are of course accompanied with carols. The main celebration of the festival revolves around Christmas eve and not Christmas Day. Christmas eve is regarded as a romantic day in which couples spend together and exchange lavish gifts. In many ways, it resembles Valentine’s Day celebration in the USA. Young couples like to walk down the street hand in hand to look at the Christmas lights and have a romantic meal in a fancy restaurant.
When it comes to Christmas day, a slightly strange tradition of eating fried chicken at fast food restaurants has emerged because of the marketing prowess of the folks at Kentucky Fried Chicken. This tradition is so popular that many people even make reservations for their “Christmas Chicken” weeks in advance. KFC outlets will have their own life-size Colonel Sanders statue dressed as Santa and people line up at their outlets to pick up their orders at Christmas day. Japanese people now believe that Westerners celebrate Christmas with a chicken dinner.
Another traditional Japanese Christmas food is Christmas cake or “kurisumasu keki”. Unlike the fruity, boozy density of British Christmas cake, Japanese Christmas cake is a light sponge cake covered with a layer of whipped cream and decorated with ripe strawberries. One fun fact, the ‘shortcake’emoji [🍰 ] is a Japanese Christmas cake!
Happy holiday! I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!