Japan has a history of Christianity from as far back as 1540 AD. Whilst Shinto and Buddhism are Japan’s major religions, Japan remains a highly secular nation….and despite not being an official national holiday, Christmas in Japan is widely popular and enthusiastically celebrated as a notable festival to be enjoyed.
It’s a time for Santa Claus, cake, sweets & romance. Christmas trees, colourful decorations and extensive displays of bright Christmas lights blanket most public spaces in cities throughout Japan. Parties, picnics and gift exchanges are immensely popular.
A variety of Christmas sweets and Japanese Christmas cake, usually a white sponge cake covered with cream and decorated with strawberries is avidly consumed.
Rather than being a religious occasion, Christmas in Japan is a social time to spend with friends and significant others. Christmas Eve is celebrated as a couple’s holiday on which romantic gifts are exchanged. There is no Japanese word for “Merry Christmas.” People just say it as an English word with Japanese pronunciation: “Merii Kurisumasu (Click to listen to the pronunciation).” Since it is an English expression, it is written in katakana : メリークリスマス
Christmas in Japan is an incredible visual, social & culinary feast not to be missed.
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