A Japanese Christmas - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Japanese Christmas

Christmas is not really celebrated in the same way as we do in Western countries, which actually isn't that strange considering most Japanese either consider themselves Buddhist, Shintoists or both. However, a lot of Japanese people has adopted Christmas as a non-religious event, and made it into their own. For instance, a lot of Japanese think that Kentucky Fried Chicken is a typical Christmas dinner, and recent years it has become so popular that you might have to reserve in advance if you want to secure some KFC for Christmas.. Further, a lot of families also celebrate with a spongecake with whipped cream and decorated with strawberries. I really had a hard time understanding how a cake could be the main dish on a Japanese Christmas menu, but apparently the white cream and the red strawberries make the cake look christmassy to Japanese people..(?)

Another thing that is totally different, is that Christmas is regarded as a day to be spent with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Actually, I find the Japanese New Year to be a lot more similar to Western Christmas, since this day is more of a family day.
For instance, for Christmas last year me and my boyfriend went to a restaurant and had omurice (in simple terms an omelette with rice in it) before we went to see the film Norwegian Wood based on the book with the same name by Haruki Murakami. In other words, totally different from any of my previous Christmases I've ever had!
Purikura from my Christmas celebration 2010. 
After the movie we also took purikura, which is Japanese photo stickers you can decorate after the pictures have been shot. The funny thing is that the photo booths also gives the pictures some extra effects, such as making your hair look lighter and your eyes look bigger. Even though it makes us look a bit strange I have to say that I really love this picture, it is just so funny..

And now it is time for my second Christmas in Japan. This time Christmas is on a Saturday, which means that unlike last year I don't have to go to school!! Lucky.. Normally you can't expect to get the day off when it's Christmas if you are a student (and especially not at Ritsumeikan!)

Also, it seems that I'll be having a Christmas date this year too:). And the best way to spend Christmas, is to spend it with somebody you care about. I'm sure this Christmas will be great too!
Of course I miss my family though. I hope all of you are having a delightful holiday!

Merry Christmas everybody!
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. Good thing you've got the day off and don't have to worry about school =)

    Have a very Merry Christmas, Anette! A Christmas card is on its way!

  2. Yay, Christmas card for me x) haha.. Thanks Jostein:D! I hope you and Kaja had a great Christmas too!!

  3. I'm surprised the KFC thing caught on! I just read about it in a post about Japanese Christmas traditions here: http://www.mangauk.com/?p=meri-kurisumasu

  4. Yeah, KFC really did a good job convincing Japanese people that their chicken is a traditional must-have among westerners.. Haha.. :)
    It is a bit sad though, there are soo much good Christmas food out there, and they settled for KFC?! xP


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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