Christmas in Japan

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Only 1% of the Japanese population is Christians. Christmas is celebrated in a Christian way without the religious matrix.

Nevertheless, the Japanese people in general celebrate Christmas with inquisitive vigor that can compare to Christian believers. In Japan, you will discover a number of the common icons symbolizing Christmas filling up not just the actual homes but even communities. The Japanese market supplied the Christian nations around the world with supplies of festive products such as, Christmas toys, decorations, and trinkets. The Japanese community later on adopted these types of practices.The Nativity scene is very special and is usually given a space in every home.

They also have turkey for Christmas dinner, evergreens and mistletoe and Christmas trees in their stores and homes. Hoeiosho, is the Japanese equivalent of Santa Claus, who is a Buddhist monk who bears gifts for the children. The family members share gifts and send cards with the true meaning of giving and love. It’s hard to deny one of Japans traditions of Christmas is to spread love and romance.For the Japanese Christians a well known tradition for Christmas is spent raising money for charity. The children perform plays re-enacting the Nativity scene on Christmas Eve.

The Japanese are proficient at discovering traditions and things of great interest from abroad and making it something unique of their own which is truly Japanese. Unique Christmas traditions of Japan are as follows; Christmas Cakes, Fried Chicken, and Daiku. The cake is a decorated sponge cake with miniature figures of Santa Claus, flowers and trees. Fried chicken happens to be the traditional meal while the Daiku, (the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven), is the favorite music of the season.

The most important day in the year is New Year’s Day, the only cultural or public celebration of the season. The houses are decorated and cleaned, then, to drive the evil spirits out, the father of the family marches through the house, accompanied by all of the family members. He throws dried beans into each and every corner ordering the evil spirits withdraw from the house and good luck replace the spirits. This is a manner influenced by the Chinese. This day seems to hold true traditions of Japan.

Japanese traditions although not performed religiously are very similar to those of the British festivities.